Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fantasy Family

Do you ever feel as if you are the outside looking in?

I have felt that way my whole life.  Near Christmastime, I would drive along the narrow streets of Highland Park, TX looking into the cozy, candlelit windows of warmth in those beautiful brick homes and want nothing more than to be inside so I could also bake cookies in my kitchen while the kids and hubby played Scrabble by the fire.  As I drove along, I'd stare up at the dimly lit trees splattered with mistletoe admonishing God up there somewhere, and then, nearly hitting a parked car, I'd have to pull over and let the angry tears burn my face.

My parents divorced when I was young, and Christmas was never the same.  It was always a battle of who got me when, and where and when we'd open presents, have dinner or go to church.  No matter how fair I tried to make it, it would never please anyone.  Maybe no one could be pleased regardless, I don't know.  It wasn't something full of magical anticipation.  No holidays were.

I wanted what I finally have now, nearly 20 years later.  And, I thank God for this beautiful life every single day.  

Kitten and Hubby came back with a Christmas Tree today that she picked out.  It's a lovely tree, and fits perfectly in our small living room.  Maybe I'll bake some cookies tomorrow.  Maybe Hubby and the kids will play a game.  It won't be a fantasy: there will be bickering, and shouts of "no fair!" and Hubby will finally yell, "enough!" and the kids will probably walk off in a huff.  But, we'll get back together again on the couch to snuggle and watch a Christmas movie with popcorn.  

Rarely things in life will meet or exceed our fantasies, but that's because fantasies are rather unrealistic.  

When you're looking in through the window, you merely get a small detail of the entire painting.  The fantasy is perfect because the vision is only a fragment.  It's also not fulfilling.  Real life is much more expansive and enriching because you get the entire picture.  It's also sweeter, not for lack of, but rather because of the vinegar.

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