I never drew the house that I wanted to live in, just drew the representation of a house—drew an icon of house, a house for position only (FPO). This is the house that all kids draw. Or rather it could be a house than any kid drew.
And in this FPO house there lived a mom and a dad and a dog and a cat and me. There were comfortable couches and coffee tables covered in books and legos and coffee cups. It was bright and cheery and smelled like pies baking and soup on the stove. And the dog had a dog house out back that matched the style, color, and design of our house (generic box house with a roof and windows.) In the house we ate in the kitchen and had a rumpus room in the basement full of toys and a giant tv and trophies. Upstairs there were 3 bedrooms, one for my parents, one for me, and some kind of “office” for my dad—in my dream he would work there and it would be overflowing with books and smell of leather, paper, dust, and Old Spice cologne. This was the dream. Is this the dream that all kids have?
And what happens to a dream deferred, does it shrivel up like a raisin in the sun?
Nah, just changes and shifts—not the dream of the FPO me, but the grown-up me. The me that knows what a house is and what a home should be. The office is mine now and not my husband’s. I need a place to write and it will not smell like Old Spice. I am no longer the child but the mom now. Our house will be full of logos and comfortable couches. And honestly, I could live without a dog (I do love dogs, just also love living without pets.) But the rest is pretty much right on—not sure where the trophies will come from but my money’s on S.
And in real life I am way older than I thought I would be before I lived in a house. When I was a kid crayoning out my vision, the mom was 24 if she was a day. 36-year-olds were grandparents with AARP subscriptions living in retirement villages. I had no concept of age, didn’t know that 36 was very early middle age and not minutes away from soft food and the death rattle.
I will be 37 in December. Thirty-fucking-seven. Middle life, here I come. (And as I was reminded recently, turning 37 is better than the alternative….)