I had a terrible dream last night... I dreamed that my husband and I moved back to the small town where I was born and bought the house I grew up in. As we walked into my old bedroom, a familiar sense of emptiness filled my heart and I woke up, panicked, looking for the door.
Two days prior: lounging in plaid pajamas; propped up by a bouquet of pink pillows and seated next to several primly dressed dollies, I was reminded of a time when I wasn't so satirical (yes... there was a time). I was probably the same age that she is now (4), but less fortunate in the style & swag department. I also had something she never will: two brothers. Some days I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad, but either way, it isn’t gonna change.
I watched as she tossed my dinner in the microwave and graciously smiled when she handed me wooden fork and invisible plate. "Where's my plate?" I asked. "It's a pretend plate." "But I got a real fork?" "Yes. That's right. Just eat it!" she laughed, eyes rolling. I quickly ate my pretend sandwich and laughed as I caught her glancing at me out of the corner of her eye. "I'm STUFFED!" I screamed. "Do you want anything else?" she asked, while scratching her butt with a spatula. "Well, maybe a banana-split... if it's not too much trouble?" "That should not be a problem." she advised and started rummaging around for her whipped cream.
According to my mother, I used to be just like her... imaginary dinners, babies that needed my care and limitless attention to detail. On some levels, I haven't changed a bit. I still have a baby that needs my care and my attention to detail has often be referred to as "anal-retentive." The difference is the loss of imagination--at least in the playful sense. My characters became more demonic over the years and, what was once an afternoon tea with a stuffed kitty has eroded into a cynical shot of tequila with myself. Funny thing is... I always want seconds.
I don't know if my daughter will inherit my razor-sharp tongue, but if she does, I know it will be for different reasons. I also know that she'll never have a dream about coming back to the house she grew up in and wishing she were anywhere else. The only thing I don't know is if she'll understand why I did, and why I've made some of the choices in life that I have. All I can do is show her the toxic smoke that wallows from above and ask her to help me blow it back to the place from where it came. Lets just hope it stays there...