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  • Writer's pictureTodd Stevens

What I Got

None of it has turned out how I thought it would, almost none of it. I was going to be footloose and fancy free, and live the life of a nomad, no wife, no kids, no real attachments…that isn’t what I got.

I wanted to stow away on an ocean liner, destination not important. What I got was a bright shiny crib when I was still a teenager.

I wanted to party in downtown Los Angeles, rub elbows with Ratt, and Van Halen at the Viper room. What I got was a shiny bald, cholicy baby girl, that I walked endlessly through long nights…hush little baby…

I wanted to go to Alaska, to earn big chunks of money working on the pipeline in only a few months. What I got was a job in neck deep snow hooking logs so that I could be near that baby girl.

I wanted a slick black sports car, preferably a Corvette. What I got was a 1961, rusted, multi-colored Chevy, with space for a car seat.

I wanted to be a young man when my daughter and son were grown, I’d have been 38. What I got was my third child, who I damn near had to deliver by myself, he fit in nicely.

I wanted time for myself in those early 30s, me time. What I got were three kids that I couldn’t stand to be away from.

I wanted to stay married, but it wasn’t to be. What I got was a divorce, and being a single parent. It was fine.

I could see the end in sight with those older three kids, time to travel the wilds, see Europe maybe. What I got were two more late thirties surprises, two more to hold and cuddle, and kiss, and cherish.

I was ready for those kids to grow up, the teenager stage is rough on parents. What I got was a shock…a real true shock, Europe and Asia and New Zealand would have to wait

I was 52 and ready for long mornings on the patio sipping coffee and contemplating retirement…slowing down. What I got was another one, a sixth shot at getting it right, or wrong, or…something.

I wanted that big slow down, that time all my similarly aged friends were getting, the golden years, card parties, traveling, figuring out just who you are, and no pressing responsibilities to hold you back.

What I got was a fat, smiling, miracle baby, and I don’t say that lightly. He is truly a miracle baby, conceived very late in my life, and on birth control, and he was more, far more, than I ever expected, pure joy, because I know how fleeting it is now, I know.

I wanted it all, I wanted to go out and find me, maybe in some far flung locale, maybe on some crazy adventure. What I got was the realization that my purpose, my destiny, came to me covered in peanut butter and jelly, and carrying toys, and sitting right on my lap…I didn’t have to go anywhere.

What I got were a million chocolate covered kisses, and spit up hugs, and bumped heads, and late nights worrying, and walking the floor, and heart wrenching breakups, and elated moments of victory…it was all right there, all along. I wanted riches, and wealth, and adventure, and I have received more than I ever deserved, one tiny little hug at a time.

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