The movie Pretty Woman ends with this quote:
“Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ – this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'”.
Tonight my New York family is in another land of dreams. They spent their first day in Disney World today and will be there for the rest of the week. From first reports and pictures Grayton and Henry’s eyes are wide and all their senses are turned up to 11. Sometime tomorrow Henry Kennington will come face to face with The Mouse and he may actually levitate with excitement. That kid loves Mickey. I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing the excitement of the next few days even thru pictures on an iPhone. Fantasy and mystery and whimsy are all part of our dreams and they are right there in the middle of that world.
I’ve long been described as a dreamer. Unfortunately, as we grow older we tend to be slapped with so much reality that dreams begin to die. It hurts when that happens. Sometimes it happens with enough of a heavy blow that we stop dreaming altogether. Fortunately I have enough of the child in me that still alive that I still believe in dreams. And, folks, I have every reason for that not to be the case. I’ve had my share of dreams die long, terrible deaths that have hurt deeply. The dream job that didn’t turn out the way I’d always hoped. The dream of creating a lasting legacy in a place I love that never really came to fruition. Mostly, the dream of husband and children and creating traditions and raising my family with a best friend. Now, at 45, I’m beginning to come to terms with that not happening. I have my beautifully dysfunctional, crazy family. My parents are my rocks. My siblings are my best friends. My nephews are the biggest parts of my heart. And, of course, there’s my 4-legged funny face that is happy to see me if I’ve been gone for a week or 3 seconds. But, there’s still pain. Still loneliness. Still grief.
The one I’m still holding to is pretty simple. But it holds enormous importance for me.
I just want a house.
I want a house with a big living space with comfy furniture where everyone is welcome and feels at home.
I want a back door that friends enter without knocking and know where the wine glasses are or that there’s cold beer in the fridge.
I want a space that my sweet nephews know is theirs with sleeping space and games and toys and movies and whatever they are into at the time. Space that we can recreate as they get older and is always there when and if they want or need to be there.
I want a kitchen that I can cook in and bake in and where my family and I can visit and be together with food and drink and comfort and warmth.
I want a dining table big enough for all of us and more.
I want holidays at my house.
I want a fireplace that little boys can fall asleep in front of or where siblings can stay up talking.
I want yard for dogs. And, a porch for rocking chairs and a swing.
Pretty simple. Nothing fancy. Just warm. Comfortable. Just a house. That I can turn into a home.
Right now that seems extremely far away. I have to get a job first. Then finish yet another degree that might, this time, give me a career that is secure and fulfilling and a salary that will allow such dreams to come true.
But, I’m holding onto this one. Not letting it die. Stoking that fire with every step I take. Pretty simple. Just a house.
Worthy of a dream.