Never Say Never

            When I was single, occasionally I would see a mother at the grocery store with a child with a dirty face, uncombed hair, one shoe missing, and eating a candy bar.  I would smugly say to myself, “I will NEVER go out in public with MY child looking like that.”  Now I’m impressed that mother was able to keep at least one of her child’s shoes on.
            After giving birth to my fourth child in 4 years, I declared the baby factory closed.  I announced to anyone who would listen that I was DONE!  I will NEVER have any more children.  I gave away all my baby clothes and toys.  Little did I know that at the exact same time I was handing out baby clothes, I was 3 months pregnant with my fifth.
            As we drove south on Interstate 15 in our big U-Haul headed for Texas, I declared that I would NEVER move back to Utah.  After five years of living in the Southwest, we found ourselves heading north on the same highway in an even bigger U-Haul taking the Salt Lake City exit.
            Many years ago my husband and I drove to a quaint small town in Utah to attend a family reunion.  At first it seemed like a great place to live.  But when we tried to grab a bite to eat and couldn’t find a restaurant we recognized, I again stated, “I will NEVER live in a small town with only one grocery store.”  We eventually bought our first home in a town with less than 30,000 people.
            Most at this point would give up and say, “I NEVER will say ‘never’ again.”  But not me.  Never will always be part of my vocabulary, but with a twist.  Here are a few of my new declarations:
            “I will NEVER go on a romantic cruise with my husband.”
            “My kids will NEVER graduate from college.”
            “I will NEVER receive my Master’s degree.”
            “My husband and I will NEVER live a long and happy life together.”
            “I will NEVER fit into my wedding dress again.”
            “I will NEVER visit Scotland or Italy.”
            “My grandchildren will NEVER think I’m the “fun” grandma and come to my house to eat ice cream.”
            I’ll let you know if my new plan works, but right now I need to run down to the only grocery store in this small town in Utah with my 5th child whose face is dirty and missing one shoe.