Living the Dream

My friend’s mother has a phrase we repeated when we dwelled in the Realm of Raising Toddlers: after happiness comes tears.

After playing with sand, a spat over ownership of a small red shovel – as if the earth’s continued rotation depended on who held that plastic scoop.

Yesterday morning, I passed my friend’s once-upon-a-toddler driving his Toyota with two bicycles strapped on the roof, while my once-upon-a-toddler drove the opposite way in her Toyota, heading to her final days of high school.

We are long past the short, declarative sentences of small children, deeply into the lyricalness of years upon years unfolding. Punctuation is an illusion – toss it out and let the days and nights unspool….. happiness… tears… a stuffed toy rabbit worn down through affection… mason jars of crimson and gold tomatoes with fat emerald handfuls of basil… children lying on sparse grass beneath a maple tree, staring up at breeze-trembling leaves, wondering….

We’ll never mow the grass, hardly ever
rake the leaves. Adopt a goat for the lawnmowing
and squirt her milk into strong tea….
moonlight clothes snap
out on the line, extended
under stars.

– Megan Buchanan, from “Dreamlife” in Clothesline Religion

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

3 comments

  1. Nice to share the reading with you and Diane last night! I really tuned in with Megan’s poetry and loved the way she read them. I had read this one after I got home last night and was glad to see it again! A nice blog today visually and emotionally.

  2. “Auf lachen kommt weinen” was my mother’s standard reply, however the translation doesn’t do it justice. I love starting my day with your blog. Your writing, insights and life experiences are awesome. It’s hard to believe that your daughter and my grandson are passing each other on the road of life. It seems it was just yesterday when they were toddlers and best buddies. Where has the time gone?

  3. The really satisfying thing, Margie and Rosie, is having my daughter join a circle of women with so many ripples, in such a distance. While in some ways it seems like she was a little girl just yesterday, I also know how we got from childhood to young woman. Doubtlessly, we’ll many tears ahead, but much happiness as well, I hope.

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