Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shattered Dreams

When I was about 14 years old, I visited a family on a Sunday afternoon. They weren't wearing their 'church clothes' but they declared the outfits they had on to be their 'Sunday clothes.' What a fabulous idea! I loved it. I committed right then and there that "When 'I grow up' my family will have nice 'Sunday clothes' to wear after church."

On an-early-in-our-marriage-Sunday, I declared to my husband,

"We really shouldn't wear jeans on the Sabbath."

I'm not sure I recall his reaction. I think I have probably mentally blocked out the disagreeable comments I'm sure I received.

Fast forward a few years. I abided by my own rule and when Megan came along, she too was agreeable to my rule. We would come home from church and she would change into a "Sunday dress." I would change into anything that wasn't jeans.

Then came some cold, wintry Sundays. Sweats were my desired clothing of choice. Warm, comfortable, cozy.

Then along came Luke. Though he was quick to remove his church clothes after church, nothing went back on. Diapers and then underwear became his Sunday attire.

Mike kept being Mike. Most times shorts were put on (the approved cotton/khaki kind.) But othertimes, out came the ever forbidden denim.

Then came more kids. And then came sister-in-laws and brothers and suddenly... I (usually in my sweats if it was winter/skirt if it was summer) became the brunt of the jokes every Sunday we were together.

My dreams of my put-together-Sunday-clothed-family shattered into a thousand laughs at my expense.

This past Sunday we came home from church, and everyone scattered to their various rooms to shed their church clothes. Mike returned an hour later than the rest of us. As Mike walked into the kitchen to greet me, he smirked,

"What are you wearing?"

He wasn't smirking at the over-sized t-shirt and sweats he was politely looking past. Instead, a big two-three inch square of smeared snot across my shoulder had caught his attention.

And once again, I felt that old familiar pang of my long ago fantasy of, "When 'I grow up' my family will have nice 'Sunday clothes' to wear after church."

I try to forget my old fantasy. I try to let go of the less than perfect persona we portray alone, in our house, on a Sunday afternoon.

Sunday evening rolled around. I was still wearing the over-sized t-shirt and sweats and by this time, the smeared snot across my shoulder had dried. My three boys playing together next to the couch caught my attention and I looked over at them:

All I saw was a sea of camouflage. And that old familiar lost fantasy pang returned.

I know this is not what I envisioned twenty years ago when I fantasized about, "When 'I grow up' my family will have nice 'Sunday clothes' to wear after church."

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