“And I dreamed your dream for you, and now your dream is real.”
My husband’s parents live in the country.
Their property is ringed with forest, limestone cliffs peeking through the foliage. On our last visit, Jason and I walked a craggy path through the trees. Our son napped on my back, and on the shore of the lake our daughter flew a rainbow kite with her grandmother. The woods held that precisely autumnal smell of decay, and all was quiet. My husband and I kissed among the flame-colored leaves.
Yesterday we took an afternoon jaunt to our old neighborhood. The wind was brisk and the sky was a pale shade of pewter. We stopped into the coffeeshop for a treat, ordered hot chocolate with whipped cream for our 3-year-old. She dropped her cup outside on the sidewalk, its contents spilling onto the concrete. I could have cried for her and the ruin of such a happy thing. Instead, we returned to the coffeeshop for another cup and Jason carried it while Simone danced along the sidewalks, flopping down into the fallen leaves like a cat. I found myself wishing that solving our children’s hardships could always be as easy as buying another cup of hot chocolate, and holding it out of harm’s way.
Jason and I chatted, and pointed out the rotund wandering felines, and peered surreptitiously at a pre-foreclosure we’d spotted online. We’d always wanted our children to grow up there, to play on the wide sidewalks. Home.
For a couple years now we have been holding out for something better. Instead of living our ideal life now, wherever we are, we’ve been waiting for our ideal circumstances. We preferred walking in our old neighborhood, so we don’t do it much here. We preferred browsing our old library, so we don’t do it much here. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We are finally admitting that we are ready for changes, that the location of our home is more important to our happiness than we thought. And so we are moving toward moving, looking at real estate listings, calculating our savings.
But for the time being I am going to bring my children to the library, and walk to the park, and bake cranberry nut bread in our not-quite-bright-enough kitchen.