Expectations

Recently, I told someone the only thing I'd wanted that someone else had was a better story of bringing children into the world than I. . .
Mine were born with risk, surgeries, medications, long hospital stays. . . and uncertainty.
I wanted something else. Didn't get it.
The natural process. Home, family, to do it all my way. So when I hear of beautiful birth stories with midwives and no real intervention, I occasionally wish that had been my story. That doesn't sound much like jealousy. It was the best I could come up with. . .that ever so slightly, every now and again, I've thought, "Wish I could have had that work out."
Nah. That isn't really it.
There is something else far, far deeper and more cutting that exists, and I knew it as soon as I said it.
Saying the real things are too hard.
You can't say everything all of the time. I give it a good go, and I am sure people who know me even marginally can attest to my tries. . .on the surface.
The most real things are carried and stowed. . .not spoken easily, often or without a lot of hurt. We say the skim of the top of the truth, as it is easy.
Sometimes easy is better, I suppose.
The above relayed tidbit has some humor, is light-hearted and can easily be shared. It is really more a figment for the sake of a story.
So it cannot be the real answer, can it?
It isn't.
The fact is usually when. . .
I see or hear of
large family gatherings,
of nieces and nephews being born,
being a sister's maid of honor,
being there during a birth of a sibling's new child,
Photos of cousins growing together,
sharing in news, in holidays, in traditions and photos with those who have known you best from the first of life. . .
there is no way to not be reminded I spent over 26 years with the expectation of all of those things in my future.
Not just in my future, but actually filling it . . .making it whole and all of the things.
It is a future I was sure I would have. . . being sure doesn't matter, as I've learned. As we all do.
Nothing hurts, possibly, as much as expectation met with disappointment. It is a selfish truth. No reason to say otherwise.
Maybe as years have laboriously went on, I have grown to miss or want the thing I never had but expected. . .maybe more than what I actual held, loved and knew and lost. . .sometimes it seems so.
I expected to be an aunt to children born to my brothers and sister. I expected mine would have cousins to grow up with, sleep overs, fights and lifetime friends. I expects Christmas to meant 37 people sprawled all over the place. I thought things would be another way than they are, and while I have went on, I cannot forget.
So it is. . .when I see the beauty and the dysfunction of huge, together families, brothers, sisters, fathers and new children and adventures and stories and fights and meals. . . I wish they were mine. . . . or something like that.
I never expected to hear my son say, "Wouldn't it have been great to have one of those kinds of families? We just really have us[' . . ."
Us isn't all I wanted.
It was the grand. Yes, it was great. And "us" it beautiful, too, but it was not my plan.
So much for plans.
And sure, you work to make new family. And you make friends family because . . .you know. . .the obvious. . . but you realize that those that have the originals can't understand what that feels like.
How strange it sounds. . . a new family.
Many new people to replace (what a word) the original people because some losses are so massive, so consuming, you will spend a lifetime trying to fill voids left behind, and so it has been, will be, always. . .replacing big blocks with 20 small ones of different colors and shapes.
The silver lining has been the new .. .different. . .family, which means literal and figurative. . .family.
But I cannot forget the originals or my tremendous (but actually, the rather simple, plain) expectations.