Daydreams by Jean Marie Keenan-Johnston

It’s a quiet Spring morning.  The sun is shining and there’s a gentle breeze in the air that has a warmth I haven’t felt during the past few months of Winter.  It’s re-energizing, and it’s welcome…VERY welcome.  I’m happy to see the deep cold of another winter behind me.  My husband left for work a few hours ago, and later our two little girls emerge from their bedrooms.  K happily dances down the hall, ready to begin a new day with her family.  J’s entrance is a bit more boisterous, bolting down the hall to make her loud, excited announcement sharing “good mornings” with everyone in the room.  Emily is her usual chipper self, hugging each daughter as they leave my embrace and race over to her for their second good morning hug of the day.  They both love her and accept her as if she’s a second mother.  This warms my heart to see them so accepting.  Of course anyone who offers as much fun and attention as Emily brings to their lives would be loved by my children!   They’ve always been very welcoming and made friends very easily, so it’s no surprise that they feel this way about her too.

The plan for the day starts with a family breakfast, sitting outside in the early morning sun.  Birds are chirping in the distance, a few late arriving geese fly overhead telling other birds “get out of my way” with obnoxious honks that can be heard blocks over.  Our dogs are running circles around each other in the yard.  A few moments later a courageous butterfly teases them, and soon a game of tag among the three is happening in the yard.  As I listen to my daughters eagerly reporting to Emily and me all they’d like to get done during the day ahead, I close my eyes, allowing myself to soak in the sun’s warm rays as if I’m getting a hug from loved ones above.  It warms my heart as quickly as it warms my body.  It’s nice to be in lighter clothes rather than bundled up in sweaters and coats, and my exposed skin is happy to feel the sun and breeze’s gentle loving caresses.  One of the dogs lunges into my leg, bringing me back to awakened reality with a jolt.  But I don’t mind.  It’s time to clear the dishes away, change into our clothes for the day, and see what new memories we’ll create together today!

The temperatures are expected to go into the seventies…perfect playground weather!  Emily buckles the girls into their booster seats as I lock the door and take my seat in the car.  As she drives us to our favorite playground, I sit and take in all the beautiful sites –  dogwood trees exploding with blossoms of pink and white, ducks swimming laps in a small pond alongside the road, tulips and daffodils racing each other to see who can shoot up toward the sun faster.  The coldness and greyness of winter has been replaced with a larger palette of colors than one would find in the largest box of Crayola crayons!  Brilliant pinks, deep reds, yellows brighter than the sun itself, whites as pure as the newly fallen snow – crisp, clean, majestic colors paint a landscape that’s been waiting all winter to emerge.  A beautifully painted world just waiting to be captured in photographs, a hobby that’s been waiting to emerge from me as anxiously as the buds on the flowers and trees at Springtime.  Moments later my girls are running and giggling all over the playground while I’m strolling around, snapping photos of all nature has to share with me. 

We spend hours at the playground, a luxury my body couldn’t afford in past years.  Emily is a godsend, keeping the children safe and happy as they explore all the playground has to offer.  A yummy picnic lunch ends our afternoon out.  Eating outside has always been something my daughters enjoy, but today, our first lunch outside of the year, it’s extra special!  As we drive home, my girls nodding off in their seats and Emily behind the wheel, I offer myself another chance of appreciation for all the blessings in my life.  I sat with my eyes closed, my face leaning toward the window allowing the sun to bathe me in its warmth while my thoughts take inventory of all I’ve been blessed with in the recent months.  Two beautiful daughters who now have the chance to play outside as long as they’d like without their mother worrying about overdoing it and paying the price of it throughout the rest of the week.  Bedrooms for each of them, an escape away into each fanstasy land they’ve created for themselves when they want a few moments alone with their thoughts and their imaginations.  My own oasis…a small room where I can retreat and write the hours away as the rest of the household sleeps peacefully.  New chances at improved health as new opportunities have emerged for therapies that were once out of reach!  Our helper who lets me give the girls all I’ve ever dreamed of giving, every part of my own childhood that’s escaped their lives so far because of chronic pain.  But this helper isn’t just for the good of the girls – how wonderful it is to have assistance in the kitchen so I can enjoy cooking as much as I once did!  It feels amazing to be able to load the children into the car for an outing an hour away and know that my helper is right there, ready to take the wheel and get us there for a new adventure!  And how wonderful it feels to be able to push myself even harder to live a “normal” life without the fear that tomorrow I’ll be paying the price for it, alone and without assistance.  That has to be one of the best gifts I’ve personally received, and I love all the opportunities it gives me as I share with others the “self” that’s been stuck inside, begging for chances to come out and give to others again!

Our future awaits with many memories just waiting to happen!  There is SO much I’ve been anxiously waiting to share with my children – so much of “me” and so much of “life” – EVERY single aspect of each hobby, every interest, all the dreams, everything I’ve every wondered about and considered trying.  We have been given a wonderful life together that we’ve always appreciated immensely.  My two daughters have been the best gift any mother could ever receive, and my husband is the man I’ve waited my entire life to find.  And now there’s NOTHING holding me back!  Nothing holding US as a family back!  I once again have the opportunities that waited for me six years ago when I took the first steps of this journey…just a few additional resources added to the mix can multiply in staggering ways into something so much bigger.

And so I share with you, my daydream of today.  The Powerball lottery is now an estimated $260,000,000.  What do YOU dream about as they place that giant check into YOUR hands?  Dream large!  Somebody has to win, right?  BEST OF LUCK!!!

  1. 2 Responses to “Daydreams by Jean Marie Keenan-Johnston”

  2. Oh, Jean Marie…how I could use an “Emily!” I did push myself this past weekend and am paying for it. I don’t know how I will get through the rest of this week and weekend with my husband traveling. And, although it is still snowing flurries here, very soon my son is going to want to go to the park with his friends while I keep an eye on all of them…and I’m terrified. Not particularly because of my son nor his friends…all of them are 9 or 10 years old. But even a playground outing leaves me utterly exhausted and in such agonizing pain. I keep biting the “bullet”, but even “it” has worn teeth marks on it. Being outside amongst bugs has practically put me into a phobia. But I have a son who I want to enjoy. Who I want to watch enjoying himself. No matter what the price. I just wish I had an “Emily” who could take over all of the other household duties so I can balance my life more and rest when I need to. Ahhh….to daydream…:)

    By Cara Meyers on Mar 18, 2013

  3. I had an “Emily” off and on – there were just too many things I couldn’t do with my girls because of the fibro. So we found college students who worked very minimum hours for affordable pay. But our medical bills have it gone up too much to make that part of my reality these days. Luckily my girls are able to get in and out of the car these days, and high chairs are a thing of the past. So much of the lifting that I couldn’t do before is now no longer a worry. But parenting with housework on the same to-do list is always tough for a mom…throw into the mix a chronic health condition, and a helper is a daily wish! :)

    By jean on Mar 31, 2013