Monday, July 25, 2011

Tim's Daydreams.

Yesterday we went to hold the new nephew. He is adorable, the image of his big brother, who is adorable as well. We visited with my sister-in-law, and then headed for home.

Tim has been taken with a huge house that a prominent family lived in when he was growing up in his small town. He stopped on the way home to look at it.

We looked at it, with all of its structural details and the extensive stone work. We peeked in the big bay window and saw beautiful molding and wall paper, a gorgeous fireplace. Window seats on both sides of the big room. But the fact of it is that the house is decrepit and crumbling. Tim's right. It WAS a beautiful house in its day, but it has been left to molder and decay.

"No," I said, and I meant it. Too much work. That husband of mine will work himself into an early grave. My vote was no. We did not need this house. No. He did not need yet another project.

Tim seemed a little cross at me. I couldn't understand it, not really. We generally decide these things jointly, although Tim will discuss things until I am just tired of hearing about it and tell him to 'just get on and do what he's going to do, but for the love of God, PLEASE stop talking about it.' It wasn't like that this time. He didn't talk the thing to death. He snapped a little. "I just wanted to look at it. If it's not a good deal, it's not a good deal. I just wanted to look at it."

I tried to figure out what was happening here. Sounded like he'd come to the realization that the house was not something he'd want to tackle. Evidently, we were of one opinion there. There was something else niggling at him.

I rode along on the passenger side, looking out the window, pondering this. I wondered what it was like to be Tim, as a boy, looking, oh, not enviously, I don't suppose, because he is a preacher's son, and he doesn't envy, but looking at 'the haves' from the position of 'the have nots,' maybe wondering what it was like to have that big house, to live in a house like that... Suddenly, I thought I had it all figured out.

I looked over. "Tim?" I asked. "You do realize that you have surpassed anything that you may have dreamed about as a boy." He looked at me and he did not understand. I tried to explain. We are extraordinarily blessed people. If he was wanting that house as some sort of inner sign that he 'has made it,' to own such a house, well, we have made it. He doesn't need that beautiful (but moldering) old mansion to prove it. We have made it.

We are not rich, but we are assembling all the pieces so that we will live comfortably, and independently, and it is happening far more quickly than either one of us had ever reckoned on. How far we've come in 13 years of marriage. I don't think either of us ever expected such a thing. Tim looked at me. He understands that we have made it, he said.

I tried one final time. "Well, I was just thinking that maybe you wanted that house because it would make you feel successful, and I just wanted you to know that you are successful. I didn't want you to buy that house because it symbolized your boyhood daydreaming."

He cleared his throat. "It doesn't," he said. "I don't remember what I dreamed for back then. I don't think I did."

Somehow, that seemed even sadder to me.

We rode along in silence once more.

It did occur to me. I thought of Tim's excitement over the new house. He'd dragged me out in the street to see what it looked like a night, all lit up. We stood in the middle of the brick street holding hands and looking at our house. He has plans for after I graduate. He's chock a block full of ideas and plans. Tim the boy may not have had dreams, but Tim the man has plenty of them.


Kelly said...

Do you think maybe a bit of his snappishness might have been because it once had been a beautiful old home, but he recognized that it truly was beyond reasonable restoration?

Your lives do sound truly blessed and part of the blessing is that you recognize that. Sadly, too many folks think of the wrong things when debating whether their lives are "good" or not.

Anonymous said...

We are blessed, and our criteria for that is that we can afford to be a blessing to others. It sounds silly, but I believe that we must not forget that.

Kelly said...

No, Debby, I don't think that sounds silly at all. It's one of the reasons I admire you so much.

jeanie said...

Aw Deb - you put tears in my eyes (as I sneak a quick peek at your blog while waiting for something to load on another computer) - I love that you ARE living the dream, a far more real dream than crumbling castles, fainting damsels and dragon-slaying princes.

Jayne said...

I think Tim was snappish due to his disappointment in the old mansion being more decrepit, less appealing than his memories painted it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you are also both a little tired with all you are both doing - fun and rewarding though it is. Just a thought.... I feel a bit worn out just seeing all you do - makes me feel lazy! Excuse me, think I'll just go and have a little lie down with a cup of tea.....

Love Barbx

WhiteStone said...

It is a real blessing to have a hubby with dreams. To have one with "no dreams" and "no ambition"...well, that's depressing for sure!

I am blessed with hubby and with all the goodness God has shown to me. Sometimes I think it was "my" or "our" doing that has given us a good place in life but in reality, it is all God's doing, all His grace, all His provision. He has blessed us in the midst of "our" doing.

Hal Johnson said...

A rich, rich post here Debby.

A Novel Woman said...

Middle-aged men are snappish. So are middle-aged women. We take turns.
(My husband will tell you I take WAY more turns than he does.)
(He lies like a rug.)
(Okay. Not true.)

Me, I think you should buy the house and renovate it. For purely selfish reasons i.e., I get to read about it!

BUSH BABE said...

One at a time, Tim. One at a time. You have your hands full with you Real Home. The trouble it your real estate values are so low at the moment, EVEN I want to whip over and buy something!!! Too tempting by far...

Like Jeanie, I got a little weepy at the end of this one. But then we are hopelessly related in our sookiness. Don't mind us at all.

BUSH BABE said...

Man my spelling and grammar are ALL OVER THE SHOP today!