As I toil about in my day to day tasks, taking my day to day life for granted, I sometimes need perspective. Not just the “why I do what I do” perspective. A perspective that reminds me that I love what I do. Who I am. That I’m a mother. That I’ve been blessed with three wonderful children. That I’m a wife, married to a man who loves me and whom I love. That I’m living the life I dreamed of when I was a little girl. Sometimes the dream we’re living gets lost inside the reality of it. I hate it when that happens.
It often takes some intentional pausing and unwrapping, to see the dream hidden amongst reality. Other times, it catches you by surprise. Today, I am intentionally pausing to give myself perspective, by taking myself back to almost three years ago, to a time when this perspective caught me by surprise. To a reminder that my daughter lived out for me, as only a six-year-old can. Here it is, as I recorded it then:
“I’m living a dream!” beams Kiersten, our six-year-old daughter, as she snuggles on the couch with her one-year-old brother, Brennan.
From the moment Kiersten learned that I was carrying around a new little baby in my belly, she anticipated his arrival with pure exhilaration. Babies, and our baby, became the focus of numerous conversations: Would it be a boy or a girl (she informed us that she wanted a sister, but was pretty sure it would be another brother)? What would we name him or her? Would she be able help change diapers, give baths, and get the baby dressed? As the day approached, we began a countdown. It would have to be a toss up over who was most excited about the upcoming birth of this baby – me or Kiersten.
In the months that followed Brennan’s birth, her excitement never waned. She never seemed to tire of looking at him, touching him, holding him, and “helping” in any way. And in the midst of any – and all – of these activities, it wasn’t uncommon for her to exclaim, “I’m living a dream!” I remember the first time she announced that, she wanted to know how she could be sure this was really real, and not really a dream. I told her to pinch herself, and if this really was a dream, she would wake up. After that conversation, I would catch her occasionally pinch herself in the midst of being in the company of her beloved baby brother.
For months I savored (and was humored by) her love and excitement for Brennan. Each and every time I’d hear those words come out of her mouth, I smiled inside. I told her how much I loved hearing her say those words. I chuckled at her childlike joy. I imagined what it must be like for her to have her “own” real life baby doll to play with and take pride in. I took delight in the fact that her dream had come true…to have a little baby in the house.
One night at dinner, as all five of us were sitting around the dinner table, Kiersten proclaimed again, “I’m still living a dream!” This time, as she said those words, my thoughts took me back to another little girl…almost thirty years ago. Another little girl who loved babies and who dreamed of having children of her own one day. Another little girl, who, as she grew into adulthood, still looked forward to the day she would be married and have a family of her own. As I looked around the table at my wonderful husband and my three beautiful healthy children, I savored what I saw before me…and I came to a realization. A realization that I wanted her to know with all my heart.
“Kiersten,” I said, “Guess what?”
“I’m living a dream, too!”
I’m linking up with Emily today (or at least, I’m attempting to!) for Tuesdays Unwrapped, at Chatting at the Sky.