Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Dreams and Other Follies

Asheville, North Carolina is a land of misty mountains, America's largest castle, and enchanted forests where one can hike, bike, and enjoy beautiful waterfalls. Or so I hear. I've been dreaming of visiting Asheville for about 4 years now. Every year saying, "Next year." "Maybe in a few years." As my oldest says, "Mama is a good waiter." When it comes to something I want, I can wait for a dangerously long time. So long that, like the old man in the movie Up, it may be too late.

It was never a good time. The finances were not in the best shape (when are they in the best shape?), we needed to visit family elsewhere, and so many tiny reasons that add up to significance. Finally the reasons dissolved in a nice puddle of commitment. The truth is my family couldn't stand it anymore. 

Every few days it would come again, the facts about Asheville I had read about. "Did you know that Asheville has been chosen as "best city to live" by Sperling?" This was 2007. In 2012, I was going on about how Curate was the new "it" restaurant in the middle of downtown. Like a rock worn smooth from the trickle of a stream, my husband, who's of the taciturn variety, offered, "Why don't we invite your mom to go with us to Asheville?" Silence. Did he really mean this? I searched his face, and after more than a decade of marriage, I knew he was not goofing around.

We have invited her to come with us during her milestone birthday and she's excited about going. I'm not entirely sure we are going with her, though. It is April and she has not bought a ticket yet. The reasons are many, mostly health reasons. I certainly hope for her that we can go in the Spring. If not, we will be going in the fall.

After going through some minor embarrassment that this whole trip is for me (what, not for the kids? Not only for my mom?), I finally came to the conclusion that this was a concrete example of Mama and Daddy having their own passions and interests. Sure, Daddy paints and reads and Mama cooks and bakes and reads and takes pictures for enjoyment, but this? This was big. It came down to this:

What good example am I showing the kids just deferring my dreams indefinitely?

Asheville is calling me, and I answered the call. The nudge to go hasn't left me. I just tried to brush it aside, sweeping it under responsibilities and wakeful nights. It's my dear husband that gets all the credit. He even gave me a beautiful silver pendant in the shape of a hot air balloon to remind me to never to let go of my dreams. I won't, love. Thanks to you, I won't.

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