When I was pregnant I had the same dream over and over again that I gave birth to a lab puppy. I know, it's a strange thing to admit, but I was pretty smitten by this yellow lab and I wasn't concerned at all with the fact that my child was an animal. I remember thinking in my dream that it was completely normal as I peeked into the nursery at this little pup. I confess this as a vivid example of just how much is unknown when you are pregnant. You prepare and prepare for this tiny being, but you have no idea how it all fits.
So in my wakeful time (the time when it was absurd to even imagine that my mind was focused on dogs), I spent a lot of time dreaming of what Julia would be like. Dreaming is a pasttime for us. We spend hours thinking up things together. We dream of winning Powerball and how we would use the money toward different things, we dream of opening a coffee shop with a studio attached and what kind of food and decor we would have, Charles likes to dream up the friends that he can persuade to move to our street so that we can "stock" our neighborhood full of the best (it's pretty cool already).
This weekend we spent some time in Maine for Charles' 10-year college reunion. We had a great time with friends and a much needed relaxing weekend. Our theory when traveling is "everything is fair game" - if we want to do it, we go for it. Charles wanted to go to an open house that was about 1/2 hour out of our way, so we did it. We took a trip out to Harpswell to this old Coloniel house built in the 1840's that had views of the Maine coast from every window in the house. Attached to the house was an old barn (that would be an amazing studio space). Each bedroom had such character - it was almost as if we were transported back to the time when the house was at it's prime. All I could imagine was hosting Thanksgiving in a place like this. The simplicity of Maine and the feeling of tradition permeated these walls. We spent the entire ride home dreaming of life with a Maine house.
Whether we acknowlege it or not, much of our time is spent in thought - whether it is worry or planning or wishing, our minds have a powerful role in how we view each step in life - from the milestones to the mundane. It's a funny thing. Sometimes I am spot-on. I just know how it's going to be. Other times, I have no idea what to expect.
Exactly one year ago today, I wrote a letter to Julia with my dreams for her. I remember being at a loss for words as I wrote. I included the important stuff - that I would be a good mom, guiding her in the right ways. That she would love God and reflect it in her life and in her relationships. As I wrote, I remember it feeling so abstract, like something was missing. On Sunday we will celebrate her first birthday. I will be writing her another letter this year. This time, I have the past year to guide me - OH, how much I have learned. I have to laugh at how much I didn't know and how much she surprises me. I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I have the life and the face of my child to guide me this time.
Dreaming is fun. Living it is better.