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Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year dreams, aspiriations and American Girl dolls

Well, Christmas is over, the wrapping paper is truly gone, the baking is eaten and last night we rang in the new year quite happily. It’s been a rather quiet holiday season, but full of gems of moments, smiles, connection and creation. Yes, even in a season of giving and receiving, it’s been interesting watching every single member of my family create new desires. Well, almost every member, our little boy is content for the moment with his Ikea toy kitchen that lit up his face Christmas morning and all week I’ve been told that he’s “happy, mom, happy hot.” His desires have been met, I must admit. Sigh… one of those Christmas gem moments, but I digress.

After Christmas morning for the rest of us, there’s always that lull, that well, now what? That if I wasn’t careful and aware of it within myself, I would feel that the fuss I’d made planning presents for the last month would have been a waste of time. However both their father and myself did feel that “now what”, which isn’t so much a question of being ungrateful or spoilt for choice, rather it’s the call of a new year approaching, the feeling of a new birth coming, some unknown space of time that we can begin to dream about. For children the months before Christmas is similar to this feeling. The knowledge that something is ahead, a time of newness and adventure and they dream of the sugarplums, toys and treats that will fill that space. I kind of feel that a new year is the same, but this Christmas, for the few days after I was beginning to forget how important it is to dream at this time. I forgot so badly actually, that due to my lack of oomph, my lack of spark or aspiration, I got really sick and spent two days really out of this reality.

Alright, lets get this post a little more focused. I want to use our daughters as a little example of this quest for new, and the creation of desire. Their journey this week has been a good lesson for us all.

Over the past few years our girls have been interested in the American Girl Dolls and this past fall that interest was rekindled. I can’t blame them, when I was their age I would have dreamed and panged to take part in the culture that has a doll that can look like you, dress like you, has her own book, furniture, store, you can take her out to tea at the American Girl restaurant, have her mended at the hospital have her hair done with you, nails done… oh the list goes on and on. Designed for the over 8s, it’s a mom’s dream come true too as it keeps everyone in a child’s world just that little longer.
However, I know my girls, and quite frankly one has loved her dolls to the point of tangled hair and falling apart, while the other never picks them up. Together they may throw them around a bit, but a passionate doll life isn’t really within them. I think its because they have each other, they just never saw their dolls as the friends I had seen mine. In fact, our little boy relates to his toys on more of a spiritual level than the girls. Therefore neither their father or I could find a reason to spend the over $100, for each American Girl, when really that would mean hardly any other Christmas present for them and we had plans we thought would entertain them through the year, not just a few days! But we compromised and ordered the mini dolls, which at 6 inches are really very small versions of the AG dolls, but a total miniature in make. They were a total hit. The girls were thrilled and have been playing, actually really playing, with them much to my delight. However, after boxing day of play, maybe the day after, new desire was born and the dream of a full sized doll has become predominant in their minds. Yesterday they started looking on the website. They’ve decided to save every penny and buy one for themselves. They are looking for odd jobs and are saving up each payment they get for taking care of the brother when we need them too. They then went online and started to decide what they would buy, what clothes, how much it would cost etc. They had so much fun. They sparked, laughed and got so, so excited at the prospect, it didn’t matter that they didn’t have the money yet or when it would be realistically possible to buy them. They planned together, dreamed, aspired… life was flowing forth and the spark coming from them was beautiful.
Now this morning, they woke up and wanted to repeat the same scenario. Out came the computer, the list, the pictures, but slowly the shift occurred. It was turning to being about the wanting NOW, the not having NOW, the where is it NOW, the HOW will I ever get this NOW, thing that destroys all of our dreams and fun of them. Their father and I both went in to them and pushed pause on the whole event. I told them I wasn’t telling them to stop anything, just to be aware of where they were headed, that in the dreaming, the excitement of planning, the aspiring they were filled with life and spark, but when it turned to worry about the result, to discontent in the now, to not appreciating the mini versions that had inspired their new desire, then they just turned whiny, and not only was the fun gone but it would be impossible to attract what they want into their lives.
I was really impressed, they switched direction, got some American girl coloring pages off the internet and started to play some great imaginary game.

This was all happening as, like I said, I was feeling blah and blechy, but also rather fed up with it all. My husband was feeling rather bored and together we were spinning over what it was all about. But then new year’s eve hit and we were reminded that it is a great time to dream, so we got to talking, we started casually asking What If’s, without attachment, we started going down winding roads of dreams, plans that felt good, things that made us sparkle when we thought of them. It was an amazing thing to watch as we called life forth. The cobwebs were swept away and we felt lighter and alive.
I’m not saying we’re dealing in definite plans, just whisperings of adventures we would like to see in 2012. We’re taking a page out of our children’s book and we’re going to relish in the dreaming for a bit. I’m going to savour the dreams, change my mind a few times, define and define again.
Life is about the dream, but not about the future. I’m not going to sell my now to chase a rainbow. Rather, while following my daughters version of dreaming, I’ll follow my son’s path of being blissfully happy with what I’ve got. I made a happy list with him the other night, and you know its amazing what can make a 2 and a half year old happy. From his Ikea stove, to sun to chocolate to pushing the buttons on the washer, he teaches me everyday. I’ll remember that too as I come into the new adventures of 2012! I am determined to make my happy list longer every day!
Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to loving your now and looking forward to new adventures, and combining the two by loving the creating moments as much as the results.
Now I have to go… my girls need the laptop, they found an American girl movie they are dying to watch!

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