Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

My Future Used to Live in My Pocket

“I’m going to be a better mom than you are!” I hollered as I ran up the stairs to pull out my dresser drawer and write secret thoughts about how my parents were failing on the pressed wood of the drawer that held daytime socks and underpants.

I was sure I’d be the perfect parent. More perfect than they were, anyway.

“I hope you have a kid who’s just like you are,” they said more calmly than I heard it.

“Me too,” I said as I walked away from their snickers holding revenge and a perfect future in my pocket.

Future was small and smooth and fierce and red.

My future and I sat at the foot of my bed on the floor talking about all the ways we’d be better once we knew everything and had a house of our own.

“We’ll never ignore the kids,” we said.

“We’ll have pet seahorses because sea monkeys suck.”

“We’ll have an only child and we’ll be rich.”

***

The olive oil sizzled in the pan while I followed the recipe for the perfect chicken dish, sure that my son would love it. “This is gross,” he said and I made him a frozen pizza.

My husband took the chicken to work the next day, assured me that it was good and I haven’t made it since.

***

“This house would be so much better if we just replaced the patio.” I love the patio, but our family and this house is the same as it was before. It’s always been good enough, as most things are.

***

“If we were married, everything would be better,” I thought. I was 28 years old and had been living with my boyfriend for almost four years. There was a day or a month or a year when I considered leaving but sitting on the floor arguing over which CDs belonged to me and which were his felt like trouble.

And so I stayed.

We had the best wedding. Along with 22 friends and family, we married on the beach in Mexico at sunset. Everybody came for four days, we hiked to a waterfall, the path accessible only by boat, we wrote vows after a night of dancing and Jello shots, and we were happy.

Except, that we weren’t really. At least, I wasn’t.

A baby would fix us, we thought. Except the baby didn’t make it and neither did we.

Us being married didn’t change who either of us were.

I thought I’d be more excited about buying the house of our dreams, but mostly, I remember the relief when we were able to sell it in a saturated market.

***

I sat on the floor in a new town with a new life, having moved from Denver to DC. My future and I held hands and comforted one another knowing that we still had lots of time. Plenty of it. Maybe even all of it.

We giggled at being eight years old and wondered what happened to the dresser drawer that held marker drawn secrets about how much better we’d be once we had a house of our own.

***

One day, I left my future at home next to a new dresser and met a guy who knows things that I don’t know. I could feel that future of mine though, even when not in my pocket, because it knew things that I didn’t. It never kissed and told, leaving the finding the magic part up to me because I have legs and it’s only carried around in my pocket like a rabbit’s foot.

***

“I wonder if you’re the first best mom,” he said. I had no reply because what reply is there to a statement like that from a seven-year-old?

I hugged him and told him that he’s my best thing. “Your favorite person in the world, I know,” he said.  “What about when I’m half robot?” he asks. “Even then. Always.” I said.

robot

My future is this not-so-little little boy who says things that floor me when once, I wondered whether he’d ever speak.

***

Some days, I pack my future up to carry with me in a purse but find it’s not there and instead home, binging on Netflix with a sun visor and fanny pack from the 80’s knowing that it’s best for me to find my pockets and purses empty at times. Open to what’s coming next. 

***

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “I thought I’d be more excited about…” which, once I started writing about, strongly disliked so altered the message a little bit. It still works though, right?

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  • Dana - Oh, I’ve missed your writing, Kristi. This is beautiful – your personification of your future, the way you go back and forth between then and now, what you thought would be and what is, and how what is can be even better.

    First best mom – how awesome is that? I’m jealous.October 27, 2016 – 10:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Dana! Thank you thank you! And yeah, first best mom is pretty amazing. 🙂October 28, 2016 – 8:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - Your words always resonate with me so much. You are one of my greatest writing inspirations and one of my dearest blogging friends. I am also continually finding out that we are more alike than we knew and that we will have SO MUCH to talk about on the day we meet!October 27, 2016 – 10:44 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I can’t WAIT to meet you in person! We need to make it happen. And thank you so so much for your super-kind words. I think you’re amazing right back 🙂October 28, 2016 – 8:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Lydia - Holy cow what an amazing piece of writing!!! This is not only fab for content but sheer style! It holds so many truths! My favorite is always the interactions with Tucker. .he knows you so well and you him…I could sit down and read your conversations with him all day! There is such mutual love and comfort there.October 28, 2016 – 4:13 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You are SO KIND. Thank you!!! And yeah, I love the interactions with Tucker too. He’s such a cool kid and I feel so lucky.October 28, 2016 – 8:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I love how you give more or a previous story I asked to hear more of. Excellent writing! I’m so impressed that I know you wrote this within an hour or two of posting it too. Wow! Love your tin foil robot.October 28, 2016 – 7:15 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’ll have to give you more of the story Kenya! I never want to put TOO much out there, you know? I’m still in touch with his mom (in fact, his mom, aunt, and grandma came to Tucker’s baptism in Denver when he was a baby). The tin foil robot was cool, right?October 28, 2016 – 8:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - The robot costume cracked me up! I’ll text you a picture of the “costume” I sent Bear to school in today. In the future I pray I can be the second best mom in the world, cause you’re the first😉.October 28, 2016 – 10:02 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Oh yes, send me the picture of what you sent Bear in to school wearing today! 🙂 And you’re the best mom too. We’re both allowed to be.October 28, 2016 – 8:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Jamie - The photo is hysterical. That’s a creative soul. My 15yo announced the other day that she was going to spoil her children. I’m thinking good luck with that if they treat her like she treats us. I guess it’s the teenage thing but makes me constantly think to myself — one day they too will have teenagers. (Very well-written post btw. )October 28, 2016 – 4:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Jamie! I love the photo too – he’s so funny. Also teenagers are terrible, I know. My husband’s daughter used to live with us and OMG the moods and the drama and the attitude! I like the idea that one day they’ll have teenagers too.October 28, 2016 – 8:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Marcia @Menopausalmom - This is so awesome! I used to say the same things to my mom when I was a teenager. I also said a lot of other stupid things, like, “MY child will NEVER behave like that in public…” Ha-Ha! Live and learn, right??!!!October 28, 2016 – 11:41 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL to my child will never behave like that in public. Been there, and even asked to sit next to no kids (DUH) and lessons learned!! HAHA yup. totally.October 29, 2016 – 11:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Scott - The future is too hard to see, let alone think about. I haven’t thought about the future since before Y2K, and even then it was only, “Hey, I’ll be 23 when the year 2000 rolls around.” Since then it’s been mostly how I’ll make it to the next paycheck.

    My mom used to tell me all the time that she wished my kids would be just like me. My little C is and OMG is it stressing me the fuck out.

    Hope you’re doing well.October 29, 2016 – 6:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Gah to the Y2K stuff. I remember thinking it was going to be the end of banks and most of the world. Sorry about Little C but he’s going to be awesome in the ways that you are and he’s going to know more than you did about being like you because of you, if that makes sense. xoxooOctober 29, 2016 – 11:20 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - I just adore clicking into your words, your insight…

    They’re a bit like a deep Indie film.

    And I LOVE! Love! love! xOctober 30, 2016 – 4:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Hey First Best Mom! This is your writing at its finest, only I know that it doesn’t stop here. You’ll always continue to inspire.
    Sea monkeys do suck, don’t they?October 30, 2016 – 9:37 pmReplyCancel

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