I’ve had a long, beautiful dream lately. So long and so beautiful that it took me away from my blog for a couple of weeks. I had to swim in its waters, breathe in it thick summery air and just live it.
My dream had a drive down familiar roads. Roads that lead home, no matter how far away I’ve moved or how long it’s been. Where the high school looks different but the slope of the hill feels like just yesterday. Where the house I visit isn’t the house I grew up in, but it’s got a man — my Papa Bear — who lets me sit on his lap and tell him I love him, after all these years, still the baby. Now we catch up in the early morning hours as my baby crawls at our feet, talking about work over coffee. Borderline disappointment when footsteps around the corner, a smile to each other and catching up is over for now.
I dream of two tanned little California girls, who mumble “Aunt Wendy” in that uncertain I-love-you-but-it’s-been-a-while way that kids have about them. They run across the green grass together, their giggles contagious and infectious. My husband creates a high-pitched voice to play pretend with our nieces and I may be the only one in the room who knows how happy that truly makes him.
My sisters, not through blood but even stronger bonds, are sitting next to me and that’s enough for me. But there’s more. Hard-to-say, rushed goodbyes, loving each other’s children, chatting with their husbands, love in so many ways.
There is a wedding in my dream. The whole family gathers. We laugh at funny garter moves and all collectively smile at the first dances. There are moments of quiet reflection, where I’m sure we’re all thinking about the strength and love that makes this group of people what it is today. I keep staring at my father across the reception hall, knowing he is just loving this — three daughters together, a happy family occasion… the world is good.
The family that raised me, that made me who I am today. It was a happy day.
I am dreaming, sweet dreaming of family. The kind that puts on a strong front, that sacrifices for precious moments together. The giving of presents, but more importantly, the sharing of love. Like not a day goes by. Like a beautiful woman’s birthday isn’t about her, but about those she loves, like the rocking and patient holding of a sleepy child. Like even tough guys can be soft and heart-melting. Like sometimes, you just feel right. Right in this place, with these people, in this moment.
Sweet dreams of the man I love. We hold hands a little tighter this week and he fits in so well. “I love you” he mouths across a room.
And all this time, just being a Mommy. No work, no plans, no distractions, no late nights away from Z. Watching so closely, holding so tight, inhaling his soft hair and kissing his even softer skin.
Pull into the driveway.
Pinch me. I’m still dreaming. Redneck jokes and “home-sweet-homes” and click-your-heels-because-theres-no-place-like this.
To sleep with my best friend’s arms around me, wake up in a hurry to see my son’s first smile.
I am dreaming. I will return to reality, but I refuse to wake up, to miss all of this.
Don’t you dare wake me up, world.