We load the car and take a drive into the country because we’ve been in the house for 4 days and I can feel myself turning into the color of the couch and really, I can’t shake the smell of vomit.
Even with the backdoor open and candles burning.
The kids are not quite still sick in body, but their mama is sick in heart and soul and so we drive for miles. The car is my second sanctuary, the kitchen sink my first, and so I turn up the music loud and I force myself to be quiet.
We drive slow enough that pickup trucks pass by and fast enough that we fly by two tractors and we stare through our windows out to expanses of farmland and one thought runs through my head…
I don’t have a dream.
The thought runs over and over again, with every song change, with every change of scenery, and I wonder what’s wrong with me.
Have the years of making babies and rearing these babies and following their daddy all over this great nation impaired my ability to dream big?
Or dream at all?
Cows stand near the road and so I pull over on the shoulder and we pile out to take a closer look. I watch the kids as they watch the cows and the sunlight makes the red in their hair shimmer.
Like their dad’s.
And he’s a dreamer. A big dreamer.
The boys start pulling wild onions and the babies lean in too close to the barbed wire and the quiet of the moment gives way to an onion fight.
The onions fly and the babies wipe grass from their bottoms and the big girls hang their hands over the fence.
And I stand on the side of the road in the middle of Nowhere, NC wondering how in the world I learn to dream big in the smallness of our life.
How do I keep being a mom and a wife and a keeper of the stuff and still allow myself to have a dream?
And if I allow myself to dream, will my dream fit in with the rest of our family’s story?
I wrangle the people who make the noise in my life and I turn over this idea of story that Donald Miller talks about. This idea that our stories shouldn’t be just good stories. They should be stories that make others want to live.
The kids cram themselves into their seats and I look at my little women, their reflections looking back at me in the rearview mirror, and I want them to dream big.
I want my life to give them permission to live great stories.
We return home to more laundry, a throw together dinner for the kids whose tummies can handle solids, and baths in the kitchen sink.
I swallow the small and I make space in my heart for God to give me a big dream.
*Sometimes Thad’s dreams are so big I throw dish towels at him from across the room when he starts dreaming out loud. And sometimes those dish towels morph into apples and oranges and the occasional can of tuna. Truth.