Friday, September 19, 2008

Wish I Might

Our yard hasn't been tended to in a few weeks. This means that when we pull our car into the driveway, we are greeted with a small forest of weeds. They are almost as tall as Sabra, if that gives you any indication how much I am not blowing this our of proportion. The yard looks a bit like it might be giving refuge to a family of rabbits or snakes. Who knows? Jimmy Hoffa might be under all that foliage.

When I went to the mailbox last night, I carefully avoided the shameful stares of the neighbors who stay home all day and have time to cut their yard AND decorate their home in a hideous fashion according to the season. I like when homes are adorned with festive candles, wreathes, and other homey accents. Our across-the-street neighbors take it to a level that should incite my shameful stares. But I don't think they would notice. Maybe they just can't see through the haze of their light-up pumpkins that scream HAPPYHALLOWEENTRICKORTREATGOBLINSLIVEHEREANDWILLEATYOU!!!!!

Moira likes to accompany me to the mailbox, on the very very off chance that she will have a letter or package or magazine she can turn into a project. She skipped through the snake den and cluster of rabbits and was oblivious to the fact that she is highly allergic to all things that grow. She picked up a dried out dandelion, and persuaded the fluff to give up its poorly rooted home. As she squealed with delight, the small white pieces drifted towards the lazy, early autumn sky.

I told her that it was time to go inside now; we needed to eat dinner and make cupcakes for school.

And this was her reply: "Ok, Mom. I made a wish on the wishing flower! But I can't tell you what it was, because then it won't come true!"

And though I've heard that phrase a hundred times and again, it struck me, for the first time, as sad. It might have been my childish inclination to want to know what she was wishing, or the hurt that for the first time, my daughter didn't want to share her dreams with me. Either way, I started thinking about that phrase...

Birthday candles have that magical power to make dreams come true. At least, we think they juuuust might. It is always good to be on the safe side, anyways. But any good American child knows that the Sacred Birthday Wish cannot be shared, or else the delicate bubble of birthday wish protection will pop and leave the wisher with soapy bits of broken hope on their face.

Why? Why can we not talk about what our hearts are yearning for?

It came to me that the wisher will always know if the wish doesn't come true. I know that my wish-on-a-star moments have faded just as the night fades into daylight. They didn't come true, or at least they haven't yet. So why does it matter if I tell someone else what my birthday cake wish was about? Why should Moira care if I am privy to her dandelion dreams?

I think that the answer might be quite simple. I think that the answer is pride.

I will know when my wish to be a famous actress doesn't come true. It will be no more or less true than if I had told someone about the dreams. What will change, however, is others' knowledge of me. And how could I live with myself if my family, my friends, and the whole world knew that I had wanted something but didn't get it? The level of embarrassment would be almost worse than the loss of the dream.

Or would it?

I've always been a private sort of person. Depending on how you know me, this may or may not surprise you. I actually don't have a problem talking about 'private' sorts of things. I'll lay out all the skeletons in my closet without so much as a blush. But the things that are private for me are the things that are close to my dreams, my wishes. I can't stand the thought of being pitied or made fun of. I blanch at the idea that other people will know I have failed.

And as I stirred cupcake batter and did not lick the beaters because that would give me salmonella, I had a bit of a paradigm shift.

I've been living parts of my life in a very sad, lonely kind of way.

I haven't been dreaming.

Or, more accurately, I haven't been engaging others in my dreams. I think that if people care about me, they might want to know what I'm aspiring to. They would at least be interested, even if there isn't anything they could do to help me realize those dreams. And maybe, just maybe...they would help.

They would scheme with me, introduce me to those that could help, or just encourage me. And though I don't rightly know how to have the official 'This Is What I'm Dreaming And Wishing And Hoping For' conversation, I could perhaps muster the courage to slip little pieces of my thoughts into my daily routine.

Today's blog isn't quippy or cute or even sad, I don't think. It just is....and that is about all.

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