“Betcha he reads, betcha she sews. Maybe she’s made me a closet of clothes! Maybe they’re strict, as straight as a line. Don’t really care, as long as they’re mine.”
I’ve had a strange attachment to the musical Annie since before I could remember. It makes sense. Little orphan, longing to belong in a family of her own. In my own way, I related to Annie on a multitude of levels. I felt abandoned by the majority of my family at a very young age, and still to this day, at 18 years old, I find myself feeling like an orphan even now. Spoiler alert, at the end of the movie, Annie gets her happily-ever-after with Daddy Warbucks, sings an epic song, and everything is great.
No matter how many times I watched the movies or sang the songs, I still woke up the next morning with a broken family.
It wasn’t easy by any means, especially growing up loving everything to do with books and movies. Everyone gets their happily-ever-after. Cinderella gets her Prince. Annie gets her family. I was set up for disappointment from the moment I opened my brain to the world of literature. Happily-ever-after happened to everyone. Perhaps I thought if I kept reading, if I kept watching, mine would eventually catch up with me.
Even at 18 years old, I dream about waking up to a happily married mother and father cooking breakfast together, smiling and laughing almost instinctively. I dream that they love my siblings and stroke their hair behind their ears to smooch the peak of their foreheads. And we all sit. And we all smile. And we all are one. I dream that I have a grandmother who didn’t leave me the second she got the chance, and instead is gentle and likes to tell jokes and smile really big, maybe even sometimes an uncle or an aunt pops up into these dreams.
It’s naive, I know. I’m aware of the childish aspects of this dream of mine. But it’s as if I can’t help it.
I don’t write this blog as a means for anyone to feel pity for me or my situation. In fact, I do almost the exact opposite. I want to open your eyes to things you may be oblivious to. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t take your family for granted, whether it be the way your mother looks at your father after he cracks the same joke for the hundredth time that day, or the way your siblings wave to your parents with pride when they spot them in a crowded room. When you complain about the way they nag on you for your grades, just remember some of us don’t have that luxury.
Despite the years gone by, I still have hope in my heart for a family one day, whether it be of my own or to watch someone else I love grow a family I can watch from the sidelines.
Maybe the truth is, we don’t all get happily-ever-after. I’ve come to the realization that if we were all happy in this world, it would be a strange world to live in. I mean, just imagine walking down the street to see everyone with a smile. We would all be the same. We have to have some people out there be unhappy. If we never knew cruelty, we would never know happiness. So in a way, it all balances out. If I have to take one for the team and be unhappy, so be it.
Still, when the dream comes to me every so often, I find peace within myself in the few moments before I completely come to in the morning, because at that point I’m not aware that it is not my reality. Just imagine having a family filled with so much love and happiness you can hardly stand it. Unfortunately, we have to face what cards we are dealt with. And I wasn’t dealt the hand I long for at times. I can’t cry about it though. And maybe, rather than having my happily-ever-after all the time, I’ll settle for those few moments every now and then when I wake up from those dreams. I’d much rather feel the love and warmth of my dream family than never having it at all.
Besides, like Annie tends to say, the sun will come out tomorrow.
Sometimes the sun comes out with a family, sometimes it doesn’t.
Either way, it will all be okay. It has to be okay.
Until next time,