Hope4Peyton header image

I seem to have misplaced my crown

We caught the tail end of a radio commercial this morning that asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My children, of course, pounced on it.

Rachael – Mom, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Nathaniel – She IS grown up, Rachael

Rachael – Well, what did you want to be when you were a kid and weren’t growed up yet?

Nathaniel – She wanted to be a mom. Right, mom?

As I’ve been unable to get a word in edgewise, I wondered if I was supposed to blindly agree that motherhood was my ultimate goal as a child. Because, it wasn’t.  I didn’t play with dolls. I didn’t carry around a “baby”.  I wanted to marry a prince.  I wanted to write from the time I was old enough to pick up a pencil….in fact, I came home thoroughly disgusted from my first day of kindergarten, declaring that I wouldn’t be returning to that phenomenal waste of time because they hadn’t taught me how to add or to write…and after a few seasons of idolizing Susan Dey on L.A. Law, I decided that I would be a lawyer.

I was destined to be a princess lawyer that created masterpieces of literature in her spare time.

The American dream, people. It was mine for the taking.

Oh, we don’t have princes in America? Then I’ll date stringy-haired cover band musicians who fancy themselves the next Kurt Cobain.

Tuition for Harvard is HOW much? Well, let me avoid 3 semesters of community college and decide I don’t need a formal education to write.

I can have lots of beer and write moody, EMO poetry for 5 years? No excuses. It was some pitifully BAD poetry, internet.

There I was, embracing the dream.

Then I met Pete. We started popping out babies.  I silenced all the dreams that whispered unfulfilled in the back of my head.

I went about my new business of nursing babies, changing diapers, packing lunchboxes, shuttling kids, making a home.

I learned that all the lawyer-ish skills of negotiation I could muster were going to be used to referee each and every day with these kids.

Then, life got derailed by my stroke.

I found that princes don’t always wear golden crowns, they sometimes wear khaki pants and support you through the hardest time of your life, loving you when you feel unlovable and making you get back up when all you want to do is lie down and give up.

Peyton’s cancer took our lives and transformed everything we knew.

And I began to write again….about my life, my children, my marriage, our dreams, our hopes, our love, our laughter….the things that matter to me.

I’m a lawyer, a judge, a doctor, an advocate, a peacemaker and an educator.
Our castle may be a bit crumbly in the turrets and our moat could use a cleaning, but I GOT my prince.
Maybe not masterpiece literature by anyone’s standards, but I finally found my writing voice again.

And the unfulfilled voices are silenced.

Me – Well, no, I didn’t always want to be a mom when I grew up, but you guys make me glad I am.

Peyton – ‘Cause if you weren’t our mom, you’d be lonely and sad!

Me – Darn right I would.

***Of all the things I found in my dryer this week, rocks weren’t one of them.  So, instead you can read what I got to write over at Rocks In My Dryer as part of Shannon’s outstanding “What I’d Like For You To Know” series.

20 Comments on “I seem to have misplaced my crown”

  1. #1 Angela
    on Sep 10th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    That was beautiful! Call me for the latest news. Tomorrow, today has been a little tough.
    Love you and thanks for not sharing the silly things I do on your site.

  2. #2 Greg
    on Sep 10th, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    I didn’t know you wrote poetry. Here is a haiku, for you. Ha! this poetry crap is easy.

    Football seasons begun
    Cannot get off the LazyBoy
    Blood shot eyes never blink

  3. #3 Double Agent Girl
    on Sep 10th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Speak the words of my heart dearie. Have no fear. You may have taken all these roles on, and found those inner voices, however you neglected to mention your SUCCESS at all of these things. You inspire me, as you did the very first day I stumbled on your blog. Keep going, this Canadian is counting on it.

    Double Agent Girls last blog post..Win Ben Stein’s Food Stamps

  4. #4 Ashley @ mrs007.net
    on Sep 10th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    SUCH a perfect post! I didn’t always want to be a mom either though. Got knocked up and I have never looked back! You are such a strong person…I sometimes wish I knew you in “real life”. Oh well….I will read your blog and identify and laugh and cry and pray. Thank you.

  5. #5 Normal to Natalie
    on Sep 10th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    “I found that princes don’t always wear golden crowns, they sometimes wear khaki pants and support you through the hardest time of your life, loving you when you feel unlovable and making you get back up when all you want to do is lie down and give up.” SO TRUE! SO VERY TRUE!

    oh and law and order made me want to be a lawyer too! instead i am master negotiator mom!

  6. #6 Amanda
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Anissa, you always touch my soul, I LOVE that about you.

    I didn’t want to be a mother. I mean, I did … I wanted to be a mother at 30, pop out 5 kids and be done by 36. WHAM, I had a plan. Before this, I was going to be on Broadway, and then go to school and be a journalist and work as a reporter inbedded with the troops.

    Let’s just say life had other plans. I had my daughter two months before I turned 21 … and well, I don’t think as a single mom, a career in journalism like I wanted to will work … not really, maybe a scaled back version. I never made it to Broadway, but man, I can belt out some Disney tunes.

    I was talking about this tonight, with a table at work *which is not talking to a table, but the people sitting at it, I swear*, and the mother looked at me and said “When we become mother’s our dreams become our children’s dreams.” Never before had such simple words made so much sense to me. When Juliette grows up, she wants to be a ballerina in a Disney parade with the Princesses, and she wants to be an Olympic diver. I never made it to Broadway, but you better be sure, Juliette will make it with hers … they’re now my dreams.

  7. #7 SciFi Dad
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 7:18 am

    “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” — John Lennon

  8. #8 always home and uncool
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 8:23 am

    And you got your court jester, princess. See, it all works out.

  9. #9 Robyn (3GirlsMom)
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Came over from Rocks. Lifting up sweet Peyton in prayer. My brother is a cancer survivor. He had Neuroblastoma at age 4 and is 31 years old now. He was a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Thank you for telling us Peyton’s story. Thank you for making us all aware of what your family (and so many others) are going through. Thank you for asking people to remember the siblings, too. I was a sibling of a kid with cancer and it’s not an easy job. I will check back often and keep the prayers going for Peyton and your family.

  10. #10 Wanda
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    What a great post! Being a mom is really the greatest gift I’ve ever received. Your story about sweet Peyton touched my heart. I have a special friend that is in the midst this very moment with her college age son (fighting cancer). Her life changed in an instant! Like yours. I pray that God would continue to show himself to you through all you endure at the hands of this illness. He is the ultimate healer!

  11. #11 PAPA
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I ask a lot of people what they want to be when they grow up. It’s a trick question. One should never grow up, of course.
    Sometimes I do ask, though, for ideas… Writer definitely stands out.

  12. #12 Joni
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Found your page from Rocks in my Dryer! Adding you to my reader because I think your writing rocks and I love your honest look on life. Keep writing. It suits you.

  13. #13 autumn dahlia
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    “princes don’t always wear golden crowns, they sometimes wear khaki pants” – that’s SO true. Sometimes I don’t think we recognize this enough!

  14. #14 Laundry & Children
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    That was an awesome post. It really got me thinking. Don’t be offended if you see me pondering these questions on my own blog? You know the bit about imitation and flattery and all. 🙂

    Laundry & Childrens last blog post..Really This Isn’t About Politics

  15. #15 Heather
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Ahh, what an awesome post. My Diva always tells me that she is going to be a mommy like me. And I think (not til your thirty love!)
    And…I totally know what it is like to have your world turned upside down. Burkitts Lymphoma…age 6….5 years clean….now he wants to be a doctor. Life is good.
    And how I got my kids to empty their pockets:
    I would keep everything I found and at the end of the month make them “buy” it back if it was really important to them. Only for 5 to 10 cents. But, it worked….pockets empty on laundry day.

    Heathers last blog post..Sold out!!!

  16. #16 Musing
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Clean moats are overrated. Princes, however, are worth their weight in gold crowns.

  17. #17 k&c's Mom
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    “I found my voice ” and “the unfulfilled voices were silenced”. You have spoken my heart for blogging.

    I got here from Rocks in my Dryer. Your story is beautifully well told. Thank you

    k&c’s Moms last blog post..Sisters

  18. #18 Dan Cohen
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Dear Rachael, Peyton and Nathaniel (ladies first),

    Ask me what I want to be when I grow up. OK, so I am 40. So technically I am grown up. But ask me anyway.

    OK, since you asked, I will tell you.

    But before I tell you what I want to be, I have to explain to you how I came to that decision.

    Did you know that if a mosquito bit either of you 3, the mosquito would get cavities? Yes, you are that sweet.

    Then, it occurred to me. I want to become a dentist for mosquitoes.


    Dan Cohen
    North Miami Beach, FL

  19. #19 Brandi
    on Sep 12th, 2008 at 12:11 am

    So beautiful.

    Brandis last blog post..A hospital stay to get ready for the hospital.

  20. #20 threeundertwo
    on Sep 12th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    You are an inspiration. I sooooo love your writing.

    Now I have to go see what you wrote at Rocks in my dryer – because I came here first.

    threeundertwos last blog post..I remember