In 2007, Michael J. Easley, then President of the conservative Moody Bible Institute, stood up and shared with the intimate crowd of six or seven hundred National Religious Broadcasters that he no longer had sexual fantasies; he had father fantasies. In these dreams, Easley would ask his children to help him rake the leaves in their yard, and his three teenagers would eagerly grab the rakes and thank him for the opportunity to contribute to the care and maintenance of their household.
Easley went on to fantasize about the day that his teenagers would stop sharing their list of needs with him and instead stop him to say, “Thank you, O Father, for thy bountiful provision and ways that you have provided for us.”
We all have our dreams. Mine were interrupted this morning at 4:30 a.m. by the third of my four children to be stricken with the stomach flu. If I could have videotaped the next 30 minutes of my life, the footage would be a powerful teaching tool for teenage abstinence or for better contraceptive use among couples.
Ryan, somehow, thought it necessary to run from his room to the bathroom to my room, barfing along the way, to let me know that he was sick. (In case I wouldn’t have figured it out by the trail along the carpet.) So I’ve been up cleaning the hallway carpet since 4:30 a.m. (Stupidly served the kids rice with their dinner…and I probably should not go on with any more detail.) I’m cleaning and thinking that mother’s day should be a week-long celebration. Heck, make that a month-long worship-fest to the mother/god.
I’m cleaning and thinking of my friend Erinn’s Facebook note about the pleasures of being single and sans children. I’m happy for her. Okay, I’m a bit wistful of her situation. Fine, I’ll admit it. I’m Incredible Hulk-green with envy of her as I think about her day likely starting hours later than mine this morning.
I’ve also been having imaginary conversations with a non-existent spouse. He’s saying to me, “It’s okay, dear. Why don’t you go to bed and I’ll clean this up.” As you can see, I have a vivid imagination by the time 5:00 a.m. rolls around. Or maybe I’ve been breathing the fumes from the carpet cleaner?
I’m picking up a pile of clothes that got left in the hallway–a pile which Ryan apparently stumbled over and uh, well, another laundry challenge. I’m drifting to the next fantasy conversation where I coo to my spouse, “Don’t worry about helping me, honey. You have to go to work tomorrow in that strenuous job you have as an underwear model (when you’re not managing those hedge funds), so why don’t you let me clean this up since I’ll just be napping and eating bon bons after the kids go to school.”
My spouse flashes a dazzling smile at me. He rubs my shoulders and tells me how great and sexy I look at 5:00 a.m. wearing those rubber gloves and wielding my spray bottle of Resolve Carpet Cleaner. He tells me he’ll be home early to fix us dinner now that he’s dropped his consulting work for the American Association for Nuclear Physicists and is cutting back his volunteer hours for Habitat for Humanity.
Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re awake or still dreaming. The odor is usually one clue…