(Started on Valentine’s Day 2019)
A long time ago I wrote a small theory about the character clues revealed in the way one shares a cinnamon roll. An “Oeey- Gooey Theory,” is about the center-sacrifice, the sentiment of “as you wish” coming to life. When one partaker generously offers up the first of the best part-the middle-to the other.
With that said, I was somewhat appalled the first time I ate a cinnamon roll with my now husband. He immediately cut into the center and took a bite. I took a sharp breath in thinking about my fluffy theory, not to mention the unspoken rule that demand a person at least start at the edge of the thing and work their way around before naturally arriving at the center. Concerned as I was, I bravely pushed past it as a deal breaker, took my bites where I could get them, and we continued dating. I have since learned that my husband simply shares pastries….differently. And that’s ok because he understands and inherently practices the sentiments of my silly theory: thoughtfulness, generosity without pretense, and belief in abundance. It is not false or fraudulent for the sake of show. And in his direct-to-center style, I have also learned his willingness to celebrate the good parts first without fear of their end or any need to horde them for a rainy day. This is a much needed balance to the more Happy and Sad type of person I am, anticipating the expiration date of the good things, fearful that the high is always proceeded by a low. It is false sense of security to try and delay the good for the concern of its end. I am very much about the ceremony of things-the expectation of making it just so in case I only have one shot at it. It happens with everyday occurrences and big dreams alike and I struggle a bit (or lot) when these things shift.
For one so particular, suffering from foreboding joy, what happens when a dream comes true in a different way than envisioned? When the thought turned handheld reality creates a whisper of but this is not how I imagined it. Is the thought the fallout of expectations too great, too defined? A lack of gratitude? Perceived control?
For example, I wrote a list of dreams a long time ago, from the inconsequential to what I called the bigger and necessary. I’ll focus on item number 7, to be a mom to a house of boys with kind hearts. To raise them to always befriend the new kids at school. Now I have one boy on the way. His arrival is right around the corner, school days thankfully are a little further out. The emotional experience of growing a human is complex, especially for one who has a constant need to sort the feeling of something. It feels exciting and wondrous. It feels a bit insane, like how are we going to, how does anyone, pull this off? Here I am headed to where I always thought I would go and I find myself questioning the very origin of the dream, whether it is genuine or something I assumed was culturally expected. I also feel the pull of what life has been, independent for so many years and then just my husband and I. It is hard to see the other side when nothing in my experience is comparable to this.
But I do know the origin, I know the desire is real.
It’s the complication of not how I imagined it that encourages my questions.
I didn’t imagine it happening in this state and while having to work full time. When I think about our baby and future babies, I am heartbroken over a version of motherhood I am currently not set up to have. (I told my husband that ideally I would be a stay at home mom in the nineties. Like my mom. In a decade that was seemingly less complicated then our current one. Tall order to stay at home and go back in time.) There has been a grieving process over having to work full time without much flexibility. Even in the first trimester I was picturing my maternity leave ending and leaving our baby with someone else all day. It is overwhelming. Hot tears have rolled. I want different results in this season and I must remind myself that I don’t exactly know how it will all unfold. I have to expect the possibility of a shift. I have to expect grace to see us all through.
In the last weeks my husband has overhauled the house, made sure I had a beautiful baby shower, refurbished and constructed furniture, painted and shifted rooms, sorted, cleaned, made late night Target runs for bassinets and baby nail files, installed car seats, and countless other tasks. He is offering up the center of the cinnamon roll everyday. He is ready for all the goodness, however it unfolds, assured it will show up.
I often think about what my dad said at my Grandpa’s funeral, that he lived in the arena he was in as if it were his dream come true. So no matter which or what-as if it were his dream come true. He passed that trait down. I have seen what it means to have an arena-sized perspective in my grandpa and my dad. My husband is the same way. They are the “as you wish,” genuine cinnamon roll center sacrificers. They give because they know there is more, can move beyond the imagined to see the actual.
There is so much goodness in the present and in the promise.
(Since starting this post Elijah Theodore has arrived. He is perfect. May he act out his inheritance, with the character of both his grandpa and dad.).