Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Have you ever had a dream come true?
We’ve all dreamed, during our lives, about meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right, about becoming a movie star, or winning the lottery. Some of these may come true; some may never come true, but they’re fun to dream about.
I often fantasize about what I would do if I won the lottery. I don’t mean the normal list of what I would spend it on. Instead, I like to think what I would do if I found out right now that I won. If I’m dreaming about it on the way to work, I wonder, would I continue on to work or just call and quit right there? Who would I call first? It might be fun to surprise my husband with the news by driving up in a new car. Or by handing him a flight ticket to a trip around the world. These thoughts make the dream more real, more tangible.
A friend of mine recently achieved her dream of acting on Broadway. Every theatre kid has this dream, but after years of hard work and training, she actually achieved it. After seeing her perform, I asked her how it felt to have completed her number one goal. What do you do after your dream comes true?
I won’t tell you her answer, because that is between us. But I think it’s an interesting question. Is there a letdown after having your dream fulfilled? Do you just move on and get a new goal – a new dream? Or can you be satisfied now that you have it?
Before we got our baby – our son! – I felt that getting pregnant or getting a baby was as elusive as winning the lottery – that far away from reality. But it happened. The dream came true. And for me, what happened after my dream came true? Now my dreams are for him.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
George pooped on our bedroom rug this week. Actually he might have done it before that - it was quite hard. I imagine I probably stepped on it at one point and thought it was his bone. He often leaves his bone hidden in the dark shaggy rug.
He is pissed at us because of the new addition to our family, and the baby isn’t even home yet! But we haven’t been at home as much; he hasn’t had as many walks; he can sense our new excitement and anxiety. Poor guy. I don’t fault him for acting out.
In a way, I think George is gaining a few eccentricities in his old age. He just turned eight years old, and he definitely has new personality traits. Mainly, he is more finicky than ever about going outside when it rains. In the past when it rained, he used to run out it in to pee, do his business, and then opt for peeing inside on his pee pad afterward. He would at least try going outside.
Now, he refuses to go out at all if it’s raining. And if the ground is still wet, he will not walk beyond the patio. In fact, I have trouble getting him to go outside at all if it has rained lately. He’s very persnickety.
He also pretends to want to go outside, and he pretends to want an ice cube from the refrigerator, when all he really wants is me to get up and give him attention. He will stand by the back door or the fridge until I get up, then when I do, he walks away nonchalantly and stares at me as if I am stupid. He has attitude.
But isn’t quirkiness a trait of old age in humans, too? I am about halfway through my life (hopefully), the same as George (hopefully), and I know I have changed with age. I am less worried about what other people think, less worried about being polite. I may not poop on people’s rugs, but it might cross my mind.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
How do you plan ahead when you know your life is about to change?
I am a planner, and I admit to having plans mapped out for myself for months to come. My next flight (to wherever) is always booked, my next day off planned, my next doctor’s appointment, small goals, and large ones.
But beginning one day soon, I will be a mother. I already am, technically, but I know I won’t really feel like it’s real until I bring him home. This was a sudden turn of events – one we wanted to happen, were waiting for – but one that we had no idea would happen suddenly! And it’s very hard to change my perception of myself in just one night!
I always pictured myself with a child, still active, still social, a person who didn’t give up who she was for her child. I wanted to be one of those parents who goes on hiking trips with the baby in their backpack, a parent who sips coffee at cafes while the baby coos contentedly from the nearby stylish carrier, the mother who takes her baby to art museums and on trips to interesting places.
But realistically, I know that is an ambitious goal. Knowing me, I will probably be a version of the picture in my head – I want to expose my child to the world, to the Arts, to the things that enrich us. So I’m sure I will be that person to an extent. After all, it’s who I am.
But right now, realistically, my goal is just to keep this blog going. I could so easily put it on hold so I can focus on shopping for bottles and onesies and decorating a nursery. Instead, I’m going to try not to make my writing all about babies. I’m sure it will be very difficult. In fact, I couldn’t think of one single thing to tell this week except for our news. There has been absolutely nothing in my head for the past ten days.
So if I am indeed able to NOT write about babies during the weeks to come, congratulate me. It will mean that I was able to keep a small version of the old me – the writer, sitting in my library at my mom’s old wooden desk. The only difference will be the baby on my lap. A baby! Wow.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
We have been house sitting for the past few weeks. While we haven’t been sleeping in my in-laws’ house, we have gone over there many times to water their plants, get the mail, and check to make sure everything is okay.
Somehow, being in someone else’s house when they’re not home is the ultimate way to get to know them. I wander around, looking at the photos in frames, the notes on the dry-erase calendar, the collection of golf trinkets and statues, and the quiet house allows me to feel what it might be like to live their life.
When people’s houses are empty, we can walk for a moment in their shoes. Things I usually ignore because I’m having a conversation or eating a family dinner are suddenly, quietly, more present. Alone in their house, I am in their world. It’s a deeper glimpse of who people are.
I took George for a walk one morning in our neighborhood and ended up talking to a man who was house sitting for his brother for the weekend. This man and his wife were taking care of his brother’s three kids, carting them off to piano and dance lessons, making them breakfast, sleeping in his brother’s bed, driving his car. I’m sure their experience in the brother’s house was very telling, even if their house was far from quiet.
We have also stayed in strangers' vacation rentals, and in the houses of friends of friends. Walking in a stranger's shoes is even more fascinating, as I play detective and try to figure out who the people are by the family photos and their choices of flatware and curtains. Which is their favorite chair? Do they walk to the corner store for coffee in the morning?
Our house basically has our personalities laid out for all to see. It's full of photos, artwork, our hobbies, all prominently out for use or displayed for discussion. You wouldn't have to play detective in our house.