Friday, October 28, 2011

A Surprise Package

With Casey's recent birthday, we have been getting a lot of packages in the mail.  Cars and books and clothes from Gap Kids (love).  Even though the presents aren't for me per se, I still get really excited when we get something and tear the wrapping paper off in excitement help Casey unwrap the gifts.

A few days ago the UPS man paid us another visit, but this time the package wasn't addressed to Casey.  Instead, it was addressed to both my husband and I.

Now this was interesting.

Why would a package be addressed to the both of us?  This indicated it was not a purchase by my husband or myself (I tend to order things and then forget about it).  It also indicated it was not a present for either child, as even if their names are left off of an address label, usually only one parent is the addressee.  Not the case here.

Since Casey was sleeping and Braden was watching the Halloween episode of Yo Gabba Gabba for the TWENTIETH time this week, I figured I would play a little game with myself.

What do I want to be in this package?

My imagination started to run the gamut.  Out of every possibility in the world - what do I want to be in this 1 foot by 1 foot box?  The rules of the game were that it can't be money (too boring), and I had to narrow it down to three options.

I came up with the following:

1) Two around the world plane tickets.
2) A title to a large, five bedroom six bedroom house in the DC suburbs.
3) A portable time machine (inspired by fellow blogger Cath's blog post).

I was having fun with this.

But as I really thought about it - practically - I realized that I didn't really want any of these things.

1) The around the world plane tickets were my knee jerk reaction.  Travel!!!  Ahhhhh.  But then it dawned on me - we couldn't take the kids.  I know that some families are bold enough to drag their kids along with them for long term international travel, but I'm definitely not laid back enough for that.  I'd worry about well visits.  And water quality.  And whether the crib sheets provided for my children were washed in Dreft.   And since we wouldn't bring them,  I would miss the kids.  Terribly. So terribly that I wouldn't even enjoy the trip.  So, while I can't believe I'm saying this, I would have to decline around the world plane tickets if they were offered to me.

2) The large home sounds enticing, and trust me, I do want a big house.  I have major house envy, too much of the time.  I want a master bathroom and thicker walls and pipes that don't explode every couple of months.  So yes, in theory, I want a McMansion.  But you know what?  Maybe not right now.  Not yet.  Though our walls are thin and border both of our boys rooms, I love sleeping so close to them.  I love that our kitchen/dining/living room areas are so condensed that I can see the kids from every angle, no matter what room they are in.  I love that this house is the house I brought home both babies to.  And I love so many things close to this house - the neighborhood pool down the street, our amazing next door neighbors, Braden's montessori school.  I love that we are close to downtown DC and Bethesda and have a swingset in our backyard.  So while I do want to eventually move and upgrade and redecorate and soak in a bathtub not built in 1954, I am happy where we are, at least for now.

3) The portable time machine - this one was enticing.  The whole sci-fi nature of it seemed kind of cool, and I allowed my imagination to run wild a bit. I thought about going back in time and watching myself as a child.  Or I could go see my Grandma again and have one more conversation with her.  Or I could go back and watch my children being born, this time without pain or anxiety or exhaustion.   But would I go back and change anything?  As I pondered this, I realized the answer was no.  In my life, so far, I truly have no regrets.  Sure, there are things I wish I would have done differently, but change anything?  No, because if I did, that would mean that there is a chance I wouldn't end up where I am right now - with a husband I love and two AMAZING unbelievable little boys.  And while I would love to see my Grandma or see myself or witness the birth of my children again, what if by doing so I did something to change the course of how my life has turned out?  Have you seen Sliding Doors?  How split seconds can make a difference?  How could I take that risk?   So no, I'm going to have to reject said time machine.

After debunking all of the ideal potential contents of the package in my hands, I came to the realization that maybe, for the first time in my life, I am perfectly content.  There is nothing else that I want for.  It's weird to think about this, because to be honest, I don't always feel perfectly content.  I feel at times annoyed and exhausted and bored and uncertain.  But in the big picture - for the stuff that matters -  I pretty much have it all.  So much so, that you can't send me anything I want but don't already have.

I basked for a moment in an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

I opened the package.  It was, in fact, a present for Casey.  It was a Bright Beginnings Happy Cement Mixer.    He loved the car for a few minutes and then tossed it aside in exchange for a sock he found on the floor.

And so on and so forth.


  1. I'd happily take those 2 around the world tickets off of your hands, so send them my way the next time you get the offer.

  2. Oh, I get so much what you are saying about the small house. Right now we live in an 850 square foot condo in Arlington. 850, for two WAH parents, a baby, plus cats! I mostly hate it and hate my life in it...except at night, when I hear Lulu breathing across the hall.

    Obviously a time machine would come with a built in Don't-change-the-past mechanism. So you would be safe. :)


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