I’ve always been a fan of my dreams. I’m not talking about my aspirations, although those are also top notch. The dreams I love are a product of my imagination, a reflection of how creative a writer I could be if I wasn’t so concerned with you liking me. They are what happen when I fall asleep.
For a long time my dreams played out like chapters in a Garcia Marquez novel, my subconscious an unraveling sweater the colors of magical realism. In my dreams, anthropomorphism reigned supreme and gnocchis saved lives, literally. If you’ve ever had a plate of homemade gnocchis, you know this could totally happen.
Lately, my dreams are more philosophical and not quite so fantastical. Perhaps my subconscious is watching me blunder through my days, groaning as I miss all the clues and signs until finally she decides to send me a direct message. At this point in my life, I can’t be trusted to properly interpret a dream about a woman shaking a blanket made of periwinkle butterflies.
On Saturday, I dreamed I sat at a table of weathered gray wood with a very wise man. We sat in turquoise, spindle back chairs with the perfect amount of squeak, both of us looking across a long expanse of swamp water recently calm after a large storm. The air was thick and curled the hair around my face.
He smoked a corn cob pipe, as most wise men do, and stared at me in intervals. Oddly, I didn’t find it at all creepy and not once felt the urge to chastise him on the dangers of smoking. After a while he turned to me and spoke. His voice came from all directions.
“You know, as parents we often feel like we are in the midst of a storm that doesn’t break. Everything is chaotic, nothing is predictable. Years later you’ll look back and realize you were sitting under a rainbow. Enjoy it while you can.”
I nodded my understanding and stared off into the water, which was slowly losing its edges. He took a final pull from his pipe and put his hands on his knees to stand up. With a parting glance he said, “Try not to forget that when you wake up.”
I remembered, although I have to admit my first thought was again with the rainbows? My second thought was, oh.
Oh, with a heavy heart. The plan was for me to remain at home until our youngest was in school full time. A few months ago, while I was watching it rain, I realized the youngest turned four and full time school was less than two years away. Last week I acknowledged that with the economy the way it is, I may not be able to wait that long. My two years turned into two months, all while I was watching the rain.
With this realization, the rain stopped, the sky opened up, and from clouds made of cotton candy sprang forth a herd of Pegasus with rainbows for wings. The very wise man was right; there never was a storm.
On the same day mythical creatures took over the sky, I received an email asking me, from what I could tell from the subject line, to write about a book. I almost deleted it automatically as I normally do but for some reason decided to take the time to read the email. I don’t get as many of these as I used to. People talk, and I may have developed a reputation for being unduly selective.
I was right, it was a book. A children’s book, or maybe something more. Arthur Levine’s Monday is One Day is a love note from a working parent to a child. It’s a book about Mondays through Fridays and the appreciation for one another that comes from being apart. It’s a wonderful book. It’s also book a small part of me doesn’t want to read.
It’s not that I don’t want to work, or that I don’t miss it. I do. But when my friends from law school read my blog and tell me I was meant to write more than motions and appeals I realize, now that my two years are two months, that I have spent my time complaining about the weather and not much else.
I have not slowed down my life and tried to enjoy the little things (at least not as much as I thought I would). I have not honored the gift and privilege it is to stay at home (at least not as much as I should). I have not done the writing and editing and writing again (at least not as much as I could).
Would have, should have, could have.
Monday is one day.
Tuesday is a day for blue shoes.
Wednesday is the half way mark.
Everything leads up to the weekend. But today, today I am going to focus on the woulds, shoulds, and coulds because my two years turned into two months and this book, this book that landed in my lap after a realization but before a dream, is a book that a bigger part of me is thrilled to read. I will soon be returning to the workforce soon as an attorney…or not.
Probably not. Hopefully not.
I’m going to go chase rainbows. If I catch them, I’ll be doing what I truly love. If I don’t, there’s always law. And the beauty of it all is that I already have the pot of gold at the end.
The book loving team at Scholastic sponsored this post and would like to give five readers who comment on this post their own copy of Monday is One Day by Arthur Levine. I am leaving the contest open until June 6, 2011, which is a Monday. I thought that was appropriate.
You can post once a day until the contest is closed. You don’t need to tweet or stumble or facebook, but if you like the post, by all means social media yourself out!
Thank you, as always, for your support.
This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who participated! The winners are: