Thursday, December 23, 2010

Giving Sooze a piece of my mind

Future self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

My rolls are in the oven, the dogs have settled, and for a short while, the house has quieted of the pre-Christmas rush. James Galway's soft flute and the voices of the Chapel Choir of King's School Canterbury drift over the aroma of yeast as it fills the kitchen.

That was somebody else's life I was describing, because though Galways' flute does dance across the air of my kitchen, now the dogs' shrill barks wake me from my holiday stupor. Their nails click across the floor as they pace, back and forth from window to door, jarred, it seems, by the simple rustling of the leaves outside, the washing machine humming, the oven timer going off.

Despite their ruckus, I do have 10 minutes between as each batch cooks, to think about yesterday's prompt, which I had meant to get to, but well, did the folks at reverb realize that Christmas is TWO DAYS away? Something tells me no, that when they were thinking up this wonderful project it was July, and the sidewalks were sizzling and there was absolutely no thought given to the holiday rush because Christmas was five months away. A lifetime. Five years.

In five years from now I will be 58. Fifty-EIGHT! The same age my husband is now, and he will be a little bit closer to retirement. I hope I'll have a couple of grandchildren, and instead of the dogs interrupting my nap with their barks, I'll snuggle down with little people who will call me Sooze, and we will warm our toes under the covers for an afternoon story. I'll pull out the soft ornaments I used to hang on the bottom of the tree, so they can feel free to touch. I'll save the roll scraps for them, and I'll show them how to carefully tie the dough into knots. And we will read the Christmas story from the Advent calendar of little books their mother used to read from — since my son doesn't even have a girlfriend at the moment I will assume he won't be a dad just yet — and we will read it straight, with none of the joking that came when my own children were teenagers, when Old King Herod  became Old King Harold, a favorite neighbor down the street.

If I could sit down with Sooze and give her a little piece of my mind that she could take with her as she navigates the years between this one and the one I imagine, I would say these things:
• Listen to your dreams
• Get some fresh air
• Stop what you're doing when a child is whispering
• Put your mind to it (see previous post on that one)
• Nap with the dogs
• You have already worried enough
• Meet your children half way
• Sing more often
• Plant more seeds
• Bring flowers into the house
• Hug your parents closer
• You will eventually figure it out
• Call your sister
• Use every color in the crayon box
• Remember what happened when you (insert mistake here). It's over. It's forgiven. Now go.
• Let your husband see into your soul
• Giggle at every opportunity
• Write every day
• Show God you are paying attention


(stay tuned, because I am thinking of that bonus letter.:)