Saturday, July 02, 2005


If you were to ask, I could tell you all about your future.

I could assure you about the next dozen years or so, take away all your worries. I could remove the nagging doubts about your choices. I could let you know with perfect certainty whether or not you're on the right path. You'd get a lot more rest, I'm telling you.

For instance, I could tell you that, yes, the choices you've been making will pay off. In your relationship you've invested a lot of time, taken a lot of risks. You've given up a lot. You've made yourself vulnerable, and at times you weren't sure if that would be enough, if that would hold him. But I'm here to tell you it will. He'll remember these things at crucial moments, moments when maybe he's wavering, and he'll choose you. See? Aren't you glad to know? No reason to be so concerned!

But, okay, the next couple of years aren't going to be cakewalks. Not at all. But if you're fully prepared to deal with whatever happens, things will eventually fall into place very much the way you want. That's the truth to cling to. That's the prize. Eyes on it!

How about this? That job in Santa Monica will come through for him in another few weeks. He'll want to take it, and naturally you'll tell him you want him to take it, and so he will. It's the future you've both been imagining. Good job, stable industry, nice surroundings. Hey, I know these things. Trust me. Know what else? Money will no longer be a problem. No more arguments about that, anyway.

Of course there's obviously going to be an adjustment period. He'll move out there first to get set up, find a place to live. It's going to feel like he's leaving, but you'll tell yourself that at least he's looking for a place for the both of you to live. No more of this leaving-your-wardrobe-draped-between-two-apartments thing. If you move, you're moving with him, and that means living with him. Finally. After four years? What was he waiting for, anyway?

This is where there'll be a bit of a hang-up, but you can push past that. You've done it before. You know if you keep working on the relationship, it will eventually come on line again. Is it even worth going into details? It's the same stuff--his maturity issues, his half-formed notions of individuality, his naive ambitions that you've always encouraged him in but that he's never really done anything about. And just like all the times before, he'll come around after a few months. You will get back together. Maybe there'll be a technical breakup, but you'll both forget about most of that in time. Down the road, it won't seem so important what might have happened right before the marriage.

Oh, you caught me! Yes, I said "the marriage." Because after he's come back and helped you pack up and gotten you moved into the new place in California, he's going to pop the question. Not right away, but after another year ... a little more than a year, but not quite two. He'll ask, and you'll say yes, and you'll be so surprised and excited that you'll forget about the way you had been fighting for quite a while by then. Mostly he was just nervous and scared, but then he got around to it. See? Your mother doesn't know everything.

I'll tell you what else she got wrong: that you'd be a bad mother. Nothing could be further from the truth! You'll be an amazing mother. You're patient and kind and loving. You've learned how to overlook inconsistent behavior, to love unconditionally, to be a lot more accepting than she ever was. That'll be obvious from the time your first son arrives less than a year after your wedding.

That's right: your wedding. But you want me to leave you some surprises, right? You don't want to hear whether or not he gives in to having a church wedding. Or about the incident at the bachelor party. Or the tedious details of the "cold feet" conversation. Hurdles, not roadblocks, I tell you.

Oh, but here's something: Your bridesmaids will all hate the seafoam color of their dresses. Nice work!

Where was I? Oh, your son. First pregnancies can be tough, but in the end you'll have a healthy, happy baby boy. A lot like his father, actually. As he gets older, you'll see just how much, but he'll always have your eyes. You can see it when he squints, especially. And when he laughs, you'll swear your little brother is in the room again. Your husband will adore him, and he'll adore you just for being his mother.

You'll never know a more stable time than those few years right after his birth. And there will be one bright June day when the three of you go out to the ballpark for the first time as a family. Your husband will be bursting with pride as he tells your son with hushed excitement just what all those men are doing down there on the diamond. Around the fifth inning, with your husband's favorite team since his own boyhood leading eight runs to two, both of the men in your life will look over at you at the exact same time and smile.

Decades later, you'll look back on that moment as the happiest in your entire life. Promise.