Several weeks ago, I had occasion to speak to a gentleman with whom I was not well acquainted. He kindly inquired about the activities of my days, and I responded with the usual, “Well, I am home with our preschooler…we bake cookies and build trains and read stories….” My voice tapered off as I wondered in a way what my days contained, searching for some type of meaning in the repetition. My mind raced to pull out from somewhere, “Well, I write, when I have time,” or “I’m thinking about going back to school,” but nothing rendered satisfactory.
In the instant of my deflating thoughts, he looked into my eyes and said, “Well, you’re living the dream, aren’t you?”
I stared incredulously back toward him, startled, and thought, Whose dream am I living?
I thought back to college and dreams of being a writer or a professor of English lit or comp or even creative writing…I thought of high school, when I wanted to move far, far away (Paris, maybe? or at least Provo) and study interior design or something artistic…I thought back to junior high, when I had dreams of being a dermatologist…I thought back to grade school, and I couldn’t even remember what I wanted to be then. But the dream that was consistent throughout those other dreams which have come and gone over the years was the dream of being married and having children.
Throughout the next several days, kneeling over train tracks and stirring flour, eggs and vanilla into sugar and butter, his words continued to echo in my ears. As I’ve meandered through memories of holding hair back for my daughter who was throwing up, or my husband pulling back my own hair through morning sickness, I’ve wandered through laughter and leaf fights, through rolling down hills and rolling through years; I’ve walked paths of sorrow and paths of joy…days when I couldn’t walk another step and someone lifted my burden. I know life hasn’t been picture-perfect (no one’s is), but it has been mine. And as I strolled on through more memories than I can share, I felt his words, “You’re living the dream.”
My husband reached over for my hand this morning, and my little one climbed onto my lap for a cuddle. “You’re beautiful,” his tiny voice and big eyes said to me as he rested against my thin frame. In that moment, I knew the answer to my question.
Whose dream am I living…?
(Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography)