I was two semesters away from graduating with a completely different degree and embarking on a completely different path, you know. I was this close to graduating, leaving for law school, wishing Dowlan well in life, and heading off.
But I decided that this guy was the one, and this life was the one.
If I had gone that way, I would have never know the joys that come with parenting these three fabulous children.
I would have never experienced the joys of waiting in line to drop your girls off at the IKEA playground, only to be paged ten minutes later and experience the special look workers there reserve for mothers who try to pass off un-potty-trained children as they tell me Melody pooped in her panties. I would have never found myself trying to explain, in all truth, that she hasn't pooped in her panties in sixteen months at the very least and that she must be sick and then receive the even more special look reserved for women who pack up their sick children and foist them on other people, claiming that they were perfectly healthy when they got there. No, really.
I would have never experienced the joys of wading through the IKEA jungle backwards with a screaming infant, almost-four year old with diarrhea and a stroller while frantically searching for her friend so that the third child can be collected and we can leave.
Of course, without little girls who would do gymnastics on the couch without cushions on it, only to ultimately leap completely through the fabric of the base of the couch and spring the springs (with the permission of Daddy, of course), paint with food coloring on said couches and smear yogurt all over them repeatedly, I would have never been in IKEA in the first place.
I would have never experienced the joys of laying on the couch the next afternoon, snuggled up with a sweet, warm girl and then experience the sweet, warm sensation of her throwing up in your lap. Further damage to the couch goes without saying.
I would not live in such a personalized home, either. My primary decorating theme would not be provisions by the fine furniture company run by those decorating geniuses Fisher and Price. I would not have the customized lettering of D, I, X, I and E on my pictures, floor, spacebar, monitor, door, art, books and on the wall of my mother's painstakingly restored 97 year old house.
I would not be so loved and needed that I can never go anywhere alone without dramatic cries of protest and would not appreciate the joy of peeing or bathing alone, as only someone who never actually experiences the solitude of such events can appreciate them.
I would not have ever experienced feeling quite ill myself, laying down to a nap and risking utter mayhem by leaving the kids with their father for two hours and being awakened by two young girls demanding an answer to the vitally important question, "Does baby Charlie have a beard?"