I walked into Restoration Hardware today, a store in which I have never spent any money ever. There was a gorgeous bed with a soft mattress and everything I could imagine adults would want. I pressed on the mattress and let out a long, heavy sigh because even if I could afford this, I could never, ever have this set up in my house.
Because I have children.
I have the children I have. The type of children who want to map out all of the Hawaiian islands on new sheets. I have children who harbor germs the CDC has yet to diagnose. I have children who will see a gorgeous bed with soft sheets and pee around it to mark their new launching pad territory then create a bonfire on the mattress using their mother as the ritual sacrifice.
If this were my bed, there would be chip crumbs in the corners (which could be mine or my kids and also the most boring case for CSI: Seattle to ever pick up), the fabric bedpost would be clawed by our cat, there would be some juice stains and blood stains and big holes in places you wouldn’t think children—who were not mutants under the tutelage of Dr. X–would have the ability to create.
I can’t even enjoy a fantasy like this fancy bed because I already think of all the factors that will inevitably destroy it if I dare bring it into my life. I do this all the time. I constantly imagine the worst things that can happen all the time. I do not buy white clothing because what if my kid gets a nosebleed and paws his bloody hands all over my dress. I also think about what would cause the nosebleed (self-inflicted [Ed. Note: Gross! Gross! Gross!], sharp objects, brother’s elbow, etc.). This is why I wear black. And a Kevlar vest. Not because I think my kids will shoot me but it can stop a bullet, it can stop a three-year-old who thinks it’s funny to full-on Spanish bull charge his mother in the grocery store.
As much as I loved my fantasy bed, I also love my reality bed. Even if there are stains and the sheets need to be changed and the kids get into it even when I say, “No room for kids! Sorry!” There’s always a pause then a small finger points to the area next to me and a voice I love so much says, “But mommy, look, there’s a spot.”
And then just like that, my bed and my heart are completely full.