I have this habit of going into situations with super low expectations...that way I can't ever be disappointed. Right? Like, just to give an example, when I went to see the movie, Twilight. I had extremely low expectations for the movie because I thought the books were pretty much...well...terrible. And what would you know? I loved it! I don't really know if this is a good philosophy or not. I realize that sometimes you just need to put your heart out there, to get really, really excited about something, to be able to trust people; and in the end, if you end up getting hurt, or disappointed, or betrayed in some way, (which oftentimes happens), well then, at least you gained something from the experience...little bits of knowledge or experience which can help you become a better, stronger, maybe even kinder or more tolerable individual. It makes me think of the old proverb It's better to love and lost, than to have never loved at all. In a way it's the same idea. Take a chance, put your heart out there, and you'll be better off than if you never hoped, or dreamed, or wished, or sacrificed, or expected.
With that said, I've been trying to raise my expectations a bit more, which I'm afraid, at times, has resulted in some very idealistic - even unrealistic - hopes and dreams. And then I almost always end up disappointed.
Such was the case on Saturday when we took the kids to the mall for pictures with Santa. Prior to this anticipated event, I had purchased a beautiful satin ivory dress for Ruby, and a coordinating pair of cords, dress shirt, and sweater vest for Asher. For weeks I'd envisioned this perfect day...getting the most perfect picture of our most perfect children, sitting on the lap of the most perfect Santa I'd ever seen. Was that really too much to wish for? Well, Murphy's law says that if anything can go wrong, it will.
And so it was with our afternoon on Santa's lap...which turned out to be far less than picture perfect.
After standing in line for a dreadful hour and a half - during which we alternated taking Ruby to the restroom twice - our moment had finally arrived. One of the kind worker elves let us through the gate, and signaled to us which way we were to go to enjoy our few moments with Kris Kringle himself. As soon as we rounded the corner, and caught glimpse of the man in the big red suit (who was indeed the cutest Santa I had ever encountered...the exact face, and beard, and build I had always seen in my childhood visions of St. Nick), Ruby became absolutely hysterical...kicking, and screaming, and twisting, and thrashing - which is totally what she did last year, too, but I guess I expected (there I go with my expectations again) that she had outgrown this silly fear stage that most children - at least at some point - experience toward Santa. And then there was Asher, our happy little Asher, who had not made so much as a peep the whole time we were in line, decided that the exact moment we placed him and Santa's lap, was precisely the moment in which he needed his bottle; and that he was not going to wait even half a millisecond for it. It had to be because he was hungry, right?...after all, he's too young to be afraid of Santa.
Ah, what a day (of broken expectations) to remember...and, ah...the ironies of life.
I guess I'm still trying to find that middle ground. I'm contemplating the idea of just ditching the whole expectation thing altogether...because if I never have any expectations, then maybe I can just always be surprised.
This made me laugh...Ruby was completely and utterly terrified of Santa Claus, but wanted her picture taken with the 8 foot (and in my opinion...rather scary looking) Chick-fil-A cow??? I don't know if I'll ever understand that one.