He describes it in perfect detail. From the fireproof walls to the color of the front door. The bathroom floors are penny tiles. On the dining room wall hangs a fruit bowl still life painted by his own hand. He can tell you the floor plan precisely. His eyes have memorized a scene they’ve only seen in his mind.
Ezra, six years old and certain of what he wants, sits at the dinner table describing the house he will one day have.
He assures us that we are welcome under his roof. In fact, he insists we take a bedroom.
A new song begins. He closes his eyes and sways his shoulders as he says, “This song is perfect for my adult life.”
Damon and I move our eyes from him to one another and let out a nearly silent chuckle.
After bedtime has stolen my boys away for a brief adventure, I tip toe down the hall following the light from the kitchen. Damon is at the sink. The sound of bluegrass is mixing with the play by play of a college football game.
I pour the last bit of mighty fine Bourgogne fruit into our glasses and drop into a seat at the dining room table.
My eyes are following the crown molding as my mind follows the timeline of my life. I realize that I never planned out my future house as a child. I poured over books of cottages and adored the comfort of their soft cushions, bay window reading nooks, and overgrown gardens. I wistfully stared out my bedroom window and imagined a garden all my own. But the dream stopped there. I never bothered with details. I didn’t often think of what I would be. Let alone where or how this place would exist. I never imagined myself with a husband or children. That must mean something, but what I’m not entirely sure.
My eyes are now jumping from toys strewn on the floor to stacks of books on the table. There are dishes on the counter and one of Damon’s work shirts hangs over a bar stool. Light from the lamp in the corner touches the playpen. It’s a mess only a mother could love.
My child self could have never pictured all of this. I never could have drawn this scene on the wall of my mind or on the pages of a sketch book. I never saw it coming.
If I could creep back through past pages and tell the little girl with blonde hair, twig legs, and glasses perched on her nose what this would be like… I might choose not to. Because the surprise of it makes me marvel with a special sense of awe now.
I smile thinking of the life a six year old boy imagines one day greeting. Maybe it will be just as he pictures it. Or maybe it will be a complete mystery unfolding year by year.
Maybe it will be something he never could have imagined. I whisper a prayer that it will be every bit as sweet as this air I’m breathing now.
A new song comes on and I close my eyes. My shoulders sway.
“Ahh, this song is perfect for my adult life.”