My Parental Dream: “They Have You!”
It’s always just been a matter of time until the wonderment and curiosity of the kids in my life led them to ask, “Why don’t Chad and Justine have kids?” My friends have already asked me to think about how to answer this question. My authentic response for them to say, “They have you!” Or as our friends’ son Isaac has said before, “You don’t have your own kids to fetch you Halloween candy, so that’s why you have us!” I love kids. I love your kids. I love seeing pictures of them and hearing stories about them, and I’ll like every single one of those posts on Facebook. I want to spend time with them and I want to be invited to their parties, games and recitals. You don’t have to not invite me because you assume I don’t want to be there or maybe because you are trying to protect me from my sadness, anger and loss. It’s my job to ask you to stop if I need you to; it’s my job to put up those boundaries. So if you aren’t asking or inviting because you feel pity for me, I’m sorry but that speaks more about you than me, especially now.
I will never be a parent. But we still have a pretty sweet toy room at our house! We built our home to create lifelong memories with all of our friends and family and their children. Our home is a kid’s paradise in many ways; we have the dogs, we have a fish tank, we have a Wii, we have toys, games, books, and colors, a huge yard and a pool.
I will never be a parent. But I will always volunteer to rock the babies in the nursery at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Specialty Hospital. And I love it, every single second of it is about love and connection. There simply is no room for anger, sadness or bitterness in that space.
I will never be a parent. But I will spend the rest of my life making sure your kids know I love them and am here for them. I will be a safe place for them to be whoever they are. I will be here to guide them. I will be here to love them. I will be here to spoil them. I will be here to just have fun with them.
The purpose of my life has been to embody what it means to redefine. You lose one dream, you have to find and figure out another while also recategorizing the lost dream.
I lost my dream of dance after 2 back surgeries but found psychology and helping others within that nightmare. I have also found different ways to still have dance in my life, whether or not it is being, admittedly, completely obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance or just dancing to my happy songs every single morning.
I’ve lost the dream of being a parent but found writing, educating, connection and myself within this nightmare. And I am continuing to find my way in keeping some form of the parental dream through my home, rocking babies at Ranken Jordan and my relationships with your children.
Some hopes and dreams are never meant to be ours. They simply are not our purpose, our magic. Unfortunately, so many people spend their lives focused so much on the lost dream, holding onto it so tightly they have no energy or space to see their new dream, their new magic.
In order to fully let go of a lost dream, or a dream that was simply never meant to be mine, I’ve had to redefine it. It is within my new definition that I have finally found my truth… myself… my ever upward.