Friday, February 22, 2013

All the Winged Horses

As a child I used to daydream that there were pegasi flying through the sky outside the school bus window. Flitting in and out of the clouds, only I could see them. One would fly down and I'd climb out of the bus window and onto its steady back. From there we'd go anywhere. Everywhere.

My daughter takes a baby doll and propels it across the living room shouting, "WE CAN FLY! WE CAN FLY!" and I feel like I'll just die from the intensity of emotion hurling itself at my ribcage.

Such a sweet gift, the imaginings of childhood. The realness that dreams have. The magic inherent in everything - in a baby doll, in the clouds outside of a school bus. I love that parenthood allows me the privilege of reliving this part of life, albeit from a vicarious place. It fills me with happiness for Willow and with wonder. Curiosity and pride. All of those things.

But, sometimes the emotions springing forth from me are born from a place of pain, of a certain sadness. I have this longing to feel those things again, to believe them possible the way she does - it creates a feeling akin to jealousy. Not really jealousy of any serious variety, but it's there nonetheless. I find myself wishing I was her for a moment so I could see wonders, too.

But I just can't do it. I don't see winged horses in the sky any more. I know they are not there.

I also know this will not be the only time I feel this way - I mean, isn't it sort of a built-in part of parenting? I definitely heard the line "don't wish away your childhood" many a time growing up, and blew it off as old people being dumb. But now, I see it for what it probably was - a tiny twinge of impractical jealousy that gets redirected into a responsible statement of truth. Not that it will do your kid any good - they'll most likely blow it off just like you did.

She throws down her doll in favor of her blocks, and begins building a tower - a home to a princess or an ogre or maybe a vampire. I join in - saving leaning towers and building up places that are lacking stability. Redirecting. Doing the adult things - the responsible things.

I sigh and keep stacking. Trying desperately to dream up a pegasus or two.

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