Thursday, March 29, 2007

Not How We'd Imagine

In the last couple days, several people have asked me how I can have house guests stay for weeks. "How can you handle that?" they wonder. "I'd go crazy, especially if it were family." The thing is, my sister (and of course the little boy that can do no wrong) is probably the exception. Aside from my love of a full house, these people are right, house guests can be difficult. But not her. There's just something about our relationship that's based in reality. I'm eternally grateful for that.

Along with being real with each other, I think we both happen to find a way to make the best of a situation. For me, it's based in love. And not just a I-love-my-sister-she's-family-of-course-we're-supposed-to-love-family sort of way but more the idea that when you base your actions and motivations in love, you can rarely go wrong. In fact, I've yet to hear a case of this.

The truth is, things are hardly ever how I imagined they'd be. I don't know many people that haven't felt that and if you've been around this blog for more than ten minutes, you know how I tend to struggle with this. It's an acceptance issue, I'll admit but it's the process of the whole thing with which I seem to be in perpetual adaptation. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, I'm still willing to see the bright side. Even when you have to look for them quite intently, those bright sides are usually there, waiting for you.

When I was younger, for whatever reason (too many sappy country songs, too many movies, too many books maybe (but don't try to convince me there can ever be too many of any of these)) I always had this fantasy that saw me far in the future. It was later at night, I was with my family; one I'd helped create, not the one to which I was born. We'd finished dinner, the summer breeze was blowing through the window of the kitchen and we'd turn up the radio and dance. This isn't because we have rhythm, not because we did it on a regular basis. It was just taking advantage of a moment. A time for relaxing, acting silly, and living. There might be a fast song, or maybe slow, my imagination didn't specify. All I knew was, it was a simple pleasure and one I'd longed for my entire life.

But that might not be reality. Reality is, I have no window in my kitchen. The sliding door in the dining room is closest, and late yesterday, it was too windy to open it. My house is full right now, but of another kind of family. A family that I had no part in, and yet one that reminds me every day how I've been blessed. This particular family is not whole right now, which is never in the ideal plans. Still, with the door closed, our bellies full of breakfast-for-dinner fare, our feet bare and the radio volume way up, we danced in the kitchen.


e.b. said...

To me that is the ultimate too - the dancing. It is so freeing, fun and wonderful. And in the kitchen no less, with barefeet. I am smiling here.

Danielle said...

Ah...isn't it funny how we imagine our life when we are young and what the reality is. Family is definitely important.

Sizzle said...

dancing is a big part of how i envision "happiness" though for me it's usually while cooking together.

i love this post!

Sempre Libera said...

Amazing how life can be perfect even when it's not ideal.

Beautifully written, as always!

Runner Girl FL said...

My family has a family silly dance as well. And someday maybe I'll create a family of my own and we will have a silly dance too. I sooooo get this.

Bre said...

I think about that an awful lot, and I figure that if my worst case scenario is being a part of the family that I already have and not starting my own... well, that's pretty darn good for a worst case!

Joe said...

> Still, with the door closed,
> our bellies full of
> breakfast-for-dinner fare,
> our feet bare and the radio
> volume way up, we
> danced in the kitchen.

I love having breakfast for dinner. What did you eat?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

How lovely.

And although our realities rarely match our fantasies for our lives, in a lot of ways - bruised and slghtly altered to fit those situations which we didn't foresee - they are better.

Keep dancing.

Robb said...

What a great post. You are a wonderful writer.

Backofpack said...

Dancing in the kitchen is one of our mainstays. Eric and I dance and when the boys were young we'd all dance. My older son will sweep me into a dance now and then, but my younger...well, he's 18 and when his brother was 18 he didn't do it either. He'll dance with me again in a few years. In the meantime, he still asks me to come to his track meets and he holds still for a hug and a kiss. That's all a Mom of a teenager can ask! But I digress...dancing in the kitchen - it is what you make it, and you've found joy in it!

Nicole said...

Loved the post about your grandma!

Hope you are able to run again.

I used to live with my sister - best roommate ever. I wish she and I still lived together - kind of hard since she has a husband and two kids.

Have fun with them

Josh said...

I lived in an apartment with my brother for some time and we got along well.

We never danced barefoot in the kitchen but we sometimes wrestled in the living room. Kinda the same thing...

Great post!

Ginger Breadman said...

too cool. You're right that things are hardly ever what you expect them to be, and it's an impressive feat to be able to adapt and see the positive side of it at the end of the day. It's an even bigger accomplishment to immerse yourself in the process with a smile on your face.

runliarun said...