That is what I said to my hairdresser/friend, M, in a dream last night. I wasn’t referring to my hair, as my hair is nowhere as large and jolly as Santa, though it is red. And it is a LOVELY shade of red thanks to my FANTASTIC hairdresser. Anyway, in the dream, I was referring to M’s new baby daughter. In real life, M does not have a baby daughter, and she is not going to have one any time soon, so, I’m not sure where that came from.
So, we were standing in an elementary school hallway, when Dream M shared what a difficult time she was having with the new baby. That’s when I said, “Hold on to it like Santa Claus. Soon it will be like she was a mythical creature.” M gave me a look that said, “I don’t want to hear all about teenagers again,” but she never actually said that in the dream. Then I woke up.
And I started thinking about what a poet and philosopher I am in dreamland. Really, little kids do become mythical creatures as they age. When I look at my son, I try so hard to find that little blond boy who wore costumes everywhere. Sometimes, I catch him, just for a second, in a smile or laugh, or love of “worms and dirt.” I started thinking that I should have held on to him like a child hugging Santa, back when I was still allowed to hug him.
As I got up, and made coffee, and heated up some sweet potatoes for breakfast (Why not? They are good for you and your stomach doesn’t know what time it is.), I started expanding the metaphor to include, well, everything. So many people, things, and times in our lives come and go, so quickly. They eventually become foggy memories. A lot of times we don’t appreciate them when we have them.
For example, I remember being sixteen and desperately wanting to be a grown up, so I could do whatever I wanted. Because ALL grown ups can do whatever they want. They just happen to want to work and pay bills and clean the house and do laundry and clean up the excrement of others, both furry and non-furry. Really, I should have been clinging to my high school years like Santa, holding on to it like it was the Christmas morning of my life.
In a way it was, but in a way right now is like Christmas Day. All of the presents are unwrapped. I have everything I have ever wanted right now, a loving, wonderful husband, a creative, funny, smart son, lots of great friends, and a job that allows me to wear jammies or yoga pants daily, and cats and dogs who follow me everywhere. I’m going to cling to all of this like Santa. I’m going to squeeze this red velvet suit of a life for all it’s worth. New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Soon, it will all be a memory.