In my dream, I’m sitting outside, rays of sunlight warming my skin.
In my dream, I can barely hear the screaming. It’s distant, and trails off with the breeze.
In my dream, Harry Connick, Jr. serenades me through my earbuds as I carefully repot flowering plants, and I breathe fresh air, much different from the filtered air in my climate-controlled prison. The ground is cool and fresh under my bare feet. There’s no rug under me, no rug matted with cat hair spitup chocolate candy crumbs juice shredded newsprint gnawed-on blocks. I can breathe.
In my dream, there are no doors slamming, there’s no toddler napping under the bottom shelf of the linen closet, no baby crawling races around the living room, no arguments about who’s washing the next round of bottles, no clean laundry being strewn all over the house.
In my dream, I rediscover my passions.
In my dream, I’m not negotiating or pleading with a potential babysitter for two hours of sanity.
In my dream, I sleep. Restfully. I don’t see 3 am. I don’t see 4 am. I awaken, fresh, in the morning, and enjoy breakfast with my husband.
In my dream, I’m not buying four cans of formula and two hundred diapers a week.
In my dream, I have no knee pain. I’m not taking ibuprofen twice a day for an overuse injury that’s only worsened from ascending and descending the stairs innumerable times to relocate my children.
In my dream, I’m in a bar. A bar with dim lights and a live band. I feel the cool condensation of a Cape Codder in my hand, music pulsing through my body. I’m leaning in and chatting loudly with my friends, strangers. I’m not worrying about the time or when the next twin will wake up for his bottle.
In my dream, I’m watching a movie. A whole movie. Uninterrupted.
In my dream, I’m sane. My memory is intact, my house clean, my clothes ironed. I buy fresh-cut flowers for my dining room table. I experiment with recipes and have dinner parties. My house smells like cinnamon and cloves.
I’m in control.
In my dream, I’m not cycling through grown-out-of-clothes, crib heights, diaper sizes, erupting teeth, developmental milestones, pediatrician appointments, toys.
In my dream, I’m rolling smooth, cool cookie dough with floured hands, carefully shaping it into holiday cookies, while music plays softly in the background.
In my dream, I’m not struggling to reclaim the person I once was, to define the person I am now, or trying to find a way to merge the two.
In my dream, my husband and I cuddle on the couch, sharing a blanket, lazily chatting about our respective days as we half-heartedly search for something to watch.
And, in my dream, we’re fondly and animatedly discussing completing our family with the children we’ve always wanted.