Living the Dream

Our three year old girl, Autumn Rose, throws herself into make believe play. She changes her voice, her mannerisms and becomes a mother to her dolls. I love it when she plays Mommy. It is so sweet to hear her coo comforting words while rocking her babies with a contented look on her face. But, I have to be honest; one of the best parts is that I actually get a break for an hour or so. She becomes so involved in her little world of pretending to take her babies to Wal-Mart, feeding them and putting them to bed that she’s not running riot in the house and things quiet down for a while.

She has one particularly well-worn doll that she calls her real baby. A few days ago she asked me when she was going to have a real baby. “Isn’t your real baby in your stroller?” I asked, a little confused.

“No, a real baby in my tummy.” she explained.

“Oh.” I hesitated. “You’ll get a real baby in your tummy when you grow up and get married like Mommy did.”

Her eyes brightened, “When I marry a prince?”

“Yes,” I laughed. She is a huge Cinderella fan.

She thought for a moment. “Can Daddy be my prince?”

“No baby, Daddy is already Mommy’s prince.”

She looked around the room and spied her older brother. “Can Noble be my prince?”

This was going to take some explaining I realized. “Your brother or your Daddy can’t be your prince. He will be someone special you will meet when you’re all big.”
Autumn smiled with joy.  “And I’ll live with him all the time?”

“That’s right.”

She was so taken with the idea. Her delight and awe caught me off guard and it dawned on me that I already had what she was imagining. I was living this dream. My long list of chores to be ticked off and my ever-present battle with contentment faded at the thought that I had something so special, even a child longed for it.

Autumn climbed on my lap and snuggled close, “Mommy, when I get a real, real baby you can live with me and the prince and we’ll share the baby”.

I thanked her for her generosity and silently thanked God for the gentle reminder of the blessed life he has given me.

A couple of days later I was in the shower and Autumn barged in the bathroom door. No surprise there. Anyone with little children knows there is no safe haven in the house; even the toilet is not off limits to their appearances.

“Mommy, who is my prince going to be?” she yelled over the sound of running water.

This conversation again? “Only God knows who he will be,” I yelled back.

Then I heard her high squeaky voice, “God, who is my prince?” I had to cover my mouth to stop the laughter.

“God, tell me who is my prince,” she insisted, louder. She opened the shower door and said, “God won’t tell me.” I managed to keep half a straight face. “He will show you when you’re a grown up. You don’t have to worry about it right now.”

She seemed satisfied and ran out of the bathroom. Later that night she climbed on her Daddy’s lap to tell him that he couldn’t be her prince but she would get a different prince and then get a baby in her tummy. Of course my husband looked at me with wide eyes and I explained our recent conversations. Autumn listened intently and nodded her head. This was serious stuff to her.

The beauty of the maternal instinct struck me the next day as I watched her play her mommy game. It is inherent and God-given. I can’t say she simply copies me. I am often pulling my hair out in exasperation. Three boys, you know.

Her make-believe world inspired me again to capture the magical essence of being in love and raising a family. As a girl I would imagine having a kitchen all of my own and cooking meals for my husband. My heart would swell with the anticipation. I’ll confess that now, I often view my kitchen as a place of drudgery. It is all about dishes and carving out meals from frugal funds. But, I also realize it is how I think about it. My husband loves my cooking and my children are well fed and very healthy. Isn’t that a little girl’s dream come true?

I imagine how much joy and satisfaction God must have when he watches us as mothers and wives in our homes, showing the same nurturing instinct that Autumn shows to her dolls. He must surely be delighted as we immerse ourselves in living out the dream He designed for us.

PEARL BARRETT
Primm Springs, Tennessee, USA
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Charlie and Pearl have five children--Meadow (13), Bowen (9), Rocklyn (8), Noble (6) and Autumn Rose (3).

 

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