I seem to have taken a detour on my way to Rampant Success. Rampant Success is funny that way, what with the road to it being so winding and rocky and full of distractions and dead ends and barbed wire and Ferris wheels.

I have taken a great many detours on this road. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve taken enough detours that neither I nor Rampant Success are probably sure any longer whether or not I’m even attempting to head in that direction. But whenever I realize, not that I am most assuredly not on the path to Rampant Success, but that someone else stayed on track and made it there, I tend to stamp my foot indignantly. I am supposed to be there.

I am not there.

Some of the distractions are Not Entirely My Fault. There was the first Big Distraction, the boy-shaped distraction that began as a set of thin unwavering blue lines on a pregnancy test and grew into the brash tumbling towheaded thing that is Bryce today, Bryce my love, my heart, the very definition of the agony and ecstasy that is parenthood. Bryce was the first Big Distraction.

And after him there was selling the house and buying a house and finding a temporary apartment and actually buying a house. Then there was Juniper, as towheaded, stubborn, and lovely as her brother. Juniper with her head full of tousled ringlets, who has never met a stranger and cannot pass a book without snatching it up and demanding “Boo-ree! Boo-ree!” (That’s “book, read!” for those of you who do not speak toddlerese.)

On top of the child-shaped distractions, simultaneously both soft and pliant and insistent, there is the man-shaped distraction that is my husband. Not easy to ignore. Not pliant. Not intentionally distracting. (What kind of asshole would be, really?) But another one, another enormous maw of need that I automatically pour myself into until he quiets. Would they function without me? Not, of course, in a permanent, I’ve-left-to-find-myself sort of way, but in a more temporary, I’m-setting-additional-priorites sort of way.

Is that even possible?

It must be, I think, it MUST be. Because if it is, maybe I can take another route, find another detour. Maybe my route to success is meant to look more like a Family Circus comic than some others are. Through the sandbox, up the tree, past the fire hydrant, hop through the hopscotch, back along the road again.

But reaching the end, eventually. Right?


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