There was a point in time, a fairly significant point in time, when I thought the dream was forever.
We had six kids. Three boys, three girls. All about a year apart. They all had curls, rosy cheeks and boundless energy. They were gigglers, and putting them to bed was a 2-hour affair.
We had a house in Northern New Brunswick, set on 42 acres of land. There was a huge garden, a horse pasture and stables.
We had a swimming pool, and in the summer we'd spend afternoons splashing around as water babies do, and evenings sitting by the fire pit roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.
In the fall, the maple trees in the front yard shed flaming leaves, and no sooner would my husband scoop them into a pile than the kids would dive into them, scattering them to the wind, imprinting their unique Picasso impressions in my heart.
There was a trail that led into the woods behind the house. If you followed it far enough, it led you to a lake that expanded steadily each year under the constraints of a high-rise beaver dam. In the winter, we would walk down the beaver dam trail to chop down a tree that would infuse the house with the bright smell of pine and serve as shelter for the gazillion gifts that would magically appear on Christmas morning.
It was the stuff dreams are made of.
It was all a DREAM.
I had the house, and the 42 acres, and the swimming pool, and the beaver dam.
But the kids never came.
Try as we might, the kids never came.
Thankfully. Because they likely wouldn't have survived the dream that morphed into a nightmare.
The visions of children diving joyfully into piles of leaves morphed into the sight of my ex stumbling up the driveway stoned out of his skull.
The sound of children giggling was replaced by his drunken ravings.
The image of family time by the pool was reframed with drug-and-drink-infused impromptu and inopportune pool parties. Waking up to random strangers sleeping on my living room sofa the next morning.
There was a point in time, a fairly significant point in time, where I thought the nightmare was real.
And then it ended. Almost 12 years ago.
And I woke up here. With Smilin' Vic. With Kiddo. Somehow, miraculously, with Kiddo.
The 42 acres, the house and the dreams went to the ex in the divorce settlement. I got a cash payout and kept my car and the payments that came with it. And my dignity. And self-respect. And renewed appreciation for unanswered prayers. Because God only knows what would have become of those 6 curly-haired kids had they ever come to be.
I didn't get the six kids I'd dreamt of. I got one. That's what the stars blessed me with. But as I tell her: ''God told me since I could only have one, he'd give me the very, very, very best one. The most special one. So he gave me you.''
This wasn't the dream I pictured when I bought my first house at the age of 24.
Of me remarried. Of me living on a compound in the ME, with a back yard the size of most people's living room. Of me, mother of 'one'.
Yet somehow I'm living the dream. As much as I miss having the beaver dam and the changing leaves and the wooded pine trails and the beaver dams. Without these two, without Smilin' Vic and Kiddo, my life would mean nothing.
I've realised everything I wished for wasn't everything I needed. I've realised I spent years trapped in a web of ''what I wish'' and ''what I hope" and ''what I dream of'' and ''what could be''.
And today, I'm realising ''what I've been given'' and ''what choices I made'' and ''what I have''. I'm realising that life surprises you, and that sometimes if you give them the chance to do their thing, the stars all align.
I dreamt of having six children. I was told I was barren. And yet I had one. I had ''THE ONE''. I had Kiddo. I'm the luckiest mom ever.
Hats off to all moms tonight.
Hats off to all moms in the Middle East: ''MomME's''.
We all come with a past.
We all come with a dream.
Sometimes our dream, the one that's so great we can't even imagine it, actually comes true.
Happy Mother's Day.