Minnesota Mamaleh: My Shiny Yellow House
Things are melting. I can see the grass. Sunshine pours through my windows. We leave our jackets in the car. Or better yet, at home.
And I dream.
I dream of Summer days. Sandy toes. Icy drinks. Swimming pools. No schedules.
Forever and a day ago I read this perfect post that had me dreaming as much as a February thaw does. It’s about Shiny Houses and what happens in them.
You know what Shiny Houses are. They’re the ones that we imagine in our minds, hearts and souls. The ones that the mere glimpses of, make us smile no matter what.
No matter how many times we got up last night. Or how many noses we wiped today. Or how many library fines we paid last week.
I have always romanticized living in a yellow house. Until my neighbor shared that yellow houses yield high divorce rates. Come to think of it, she may have just not wanted to live next door to that house. You know, the yellow one.
But at my Shiny Yellow House? Good things happen.
Brie and pomegranate martinis are served daily.
Sweatpants are acceptable wear.
The Children play nicely.
People use the phrase “The Children” and it sounds just right.
Whining is against the law.
Pangs that little hands will grow bigger, my lap will be empty and big kid teeth will grow in never strike.
I can write and “click things” without missing a single moment with The Children.
Jason and I have unlimited time together.
Sleep is plentiful.
There are flowers in every room.
Someone else is in charge of the cooking, cleaning and laundry. Especially the laundry.
All of the friends that I have gathered in the many pockets of my life and corners of the world live next door to me at their very own Shiny Houses.
And every single day our husbands grill together, The Children play together. And we laugh together. Loudly.
Except for Fridays. On Fridays, my Shiny Yellow House is filled to the brim with Shabbat guests. And my challah turns out perfectly. Every single time.
Whenever my Shiny Yellow House pops into my mind I smile. And I want to frame it. And maybe pet it just a little bit.
I want The Children to have their very own Shiny Houses. Because being able to imagine pure happiness? And the ability to basque and revel in magic and fun and whimsy?
Is good. Very, very good.
So today I asked them about their Shiny Houses.
Kayli’s Shiny House is lavender. She can stay up as late as she wants there. She never has to clean up after herself. There are candy dishes in every room. And every night after dinner our family watches movies, plays Band Hero and talks to each other.
Chloe’s Shiny House is a bright pink Castle. Of course it is. She can go on as many Mall of America rides as she wants there. She can eat candy all day long and take bubble baths whenever she wants. There is absolutely no cleaning up and no naps at her Shiny Bright Pink Castle. But there are cozy beds to snuggle, read books and have snacks in, in every single room.
Brody’s Shiny House is dark blue. He watches football with Daddy and goes on Mall of America rides there. He eats candy. And plays Band Hero. And sleeps with Mommy.
Jason walked in the door just as we all finished bedazzling our Shiny Houses. And Chloe practically tackled him, her eyes bright and her fingers glittery. I made a wistful note of her little hands holding his and the dry cleaning that I would need to drop off the next day.
Daddy! What’s at your Shiny House? What color is it? What do you do there?
He looked at me for help. Bewildered. Tired. Glittery.
Football? Iphones? Beer? Chili cheese Fritos?
Ahh, yes. He got it.
You would be there, Chlo. Our basement would be a movie theatre. Star Wars would play every single night before bed. And we would have chocolate milk and warm chocolate chip cookies at my Shiny Brown House.
And that’s what happens at our Shiny Houses. And Bright Pink Castle. Our dreams and wishes and magic and smiles.
How about you? What color is your Shiny House? What happens there?