When I was young (so long ago), I pictured my future life this way: a house (not too big, not too small), a husband (handsome, funny), a dog (furry, excitable), a passle of kids (maybe three, gasp, maybe five!), fun vacations and campfires with marshmallows.
Or I pictured myself as a career woman, maybe married but deliberately child-free, traveling to Paris on a whim and well-deserved vacations at the beach. And I would dress very chic, all in black.
Or I was single, working for a few bucks, living in a rental apartment but I had good friends and fun and drinks and hung out with my elderly-but-still-with-it parents and slept in on the weekend.
Oh, and I still had the dog, no matter the scenario.
I never pictured myself shut in my pre-teen son’s room, watching him bang his head on the floor or biting at the flesh on the back of his hand until it is black and blue and bleeding. I never thought I'd still be helping my son wipe his bum or that I would spend hours trying to help him understand that if he stopped picking his nose compulsively, it would finally stop bleeding.
But hey, at least I did finally get the dog.