30 little toes



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When I was a kid I had a full time hobby of making plans. I would draw sketches, timelines, and goals for every part of my life. While the other kids were playing Nintendo or nerf tag, I would sit with my journal in hand, scribbling down an exact blueprint for my life.

One of the most important plans that was very carefully thought through was to be married by 20 and start having kids by 23. I wanted 3-6 kids, preferably with a set of twins thrown into the mix. And I was determined, at all costs, to make than plan happen.

Little did I know that my life would not go according to plan. At all. In any way, shape, or form. I never planned on not finishing college. I never planned on moving overseas, for five years nonetheless. I never planned on being a photographer.

Around the same time I started planning what my life would look like, I also planned how I wanted my family to be. I envisioned myself as the super cool mom, the one whose kids didn’t make her drop them off for school 2 blocks away. I fully intended on throwing a football around with my boys and having tea parties with my girls. Because I also planned on being done with the whole pregnancy and birth thing by 27 years old. 28 if I were to give myself buffer time. And being a mom at that age, I would obviously still have all the same energy I had when I made these plans…at age 7-15.

Except that things didn’t go according to plan.

I am almost 28, not yet married and no where near being ready to have kids. But somehow, I think all along God knew that this is exactly where I would be at this point in my life.

Today I layed on my sleeper sofa with some of my favorite people in the world. Three kids who have rocked my world and have captivated my heart. I didn’t conceive them or give birth to them. I’m not even biologically related to them. But laying there with 30 other toes spread across my sofa bed, I thought about all the plans I had for my life that never happened. And how every time, without exception, God has far exceeded the plans I had for my life with his own plans. We watched Christmas movie after Christmas movie. We giggled. There may have been some tickling (of which I was, of course, the victim). We made a gingerbread nativity. And we loved life, together.

I’m not sure what life would have looked like had things gone according to my plans, but what I do know is that right now…being ‘just’ a big sister to these three amazing kids is so much more fulfilling than I ever thought mothering would be. I know my time to be a wife and mom will come eventually, and I’m sure that at that point the love I feel now will pale in comparison. But for right now, in this sweet moment on Christmas eve morning, I have all the love I need with these 30 toes beside me.

VIEW Comments +

  1. sal candelora says:

    You know, for years there were times I regretted the decision I made with Mom to medically stop my ability to have more children. Never over them times did I ever consider or for that matter even have a slight thought about fostering or adopting, even though as a child I spent timr in a foster home. Now hear I am again a dad of three more (exactly 24 years and one month after giving birth to my third biological child) like you not planning but also enjoying them 30 toes! I appreciate your help and example as a daughter and big sister, as I again seek God’s wisdom and help to creativly and effectivly raise three more children! Proud of You and all You do and accomplish! Have a Blessed, Healthy & Prosperus New Year!!! Dad

  2. Sal Candelora says:

    Failed to post my own creative writing comments on your blog as it”s now 2:15 AM at your sisters with the prospect of having to play Mr. Mechanic later today. So to keep it short, Proud of you and all you do and example as the oldest child to all of my children! I really enjoy them “30 New Toes” too! Love Ya – Dad

  3. Sal Candelora says:

    Ok Well #2 not as good as #1 did post.

  4. Sal Candelora says:

    Opps and it was “30 Little not New Toes” well they are little and have been with me for 30 months too, so your title is prob. better! Dad

  5. Sal Candelora says:

    BTW there are 40 in the picture!

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