The other day I was walking down our street with my kids and Cutest Puppy Ever. We were heading to a park to vacate our house while it was being shown. I'd just spent a stressful few hours getting ready for these
Anyway, as we strolled down our street my daughter was workin' her Dora scooter, my son was walking our dog, and I was luxuriating in not having to be cleaning anything. Some neighbors a couple of blocks away were hanging in their front yard; while the girls played the husband washed their minivan and the wife deadheaded some roses. I smiled and waved as we approached them, and in one unexpected swarm the four of them, along with their big dog, descended upon us in a flurry of wagging tails, giggles, and...questions, Where are you moving? You're renting? Why? Oh. We'll miss you. Have a nice walk. Bye!
The girls, who are about six and nine, went back to their yard, giggling and squealing with delight as they took turns chasing and then being chased by their dog. I watched them, and my head flashed into a power-point of their future in this house, this neighborhood...holidays, summer days, celebrations, arguments, proms, broken hearts, all set within the backdrop of this home, this family home. This is, of course, in contrast to our own situation which is uncertain, which continues to STUN me when I really stop and consider it.
And in that moment, I did consider it, and I experienced a pang of guilt, fear, and regret so powerful I hesitated mid-breath...and then (hold on) an ugly, little, hypocritical thought regarding those two little girls surprised me as it flashed through my head, "Princesses!"
For a split second I channeled all of my angst and focussed it on two innocents who were simply enjoying a late summer evening with their family. Jealousy is ugly, even if it is brief, silent, and regretted.
Then I looked at my kids as they whooped and hollered on the way to the park, our pup's tail wagging in delight. They are happy, we are together, we are happy together. That's all that matters, I know.
It's just hard when dreams die.