Friday, July 17, 2009

Welcome to the World of Make Believe

Many times our every day lives can overwhelm us and we desperately need a break. Being a wife, homemaker, and mother can be a challenge and some days we feel discouraged. That’s the time when we would like to enter the world of Make-Believe. Perhaps after we do the dishes, change a diaper, and put our children down for a nap, we may have a couple hours to read a novel and slip into that make-believe world; a world of escape when our frustrations are high and we desperately need a break and a place to relax so we can be ready for the next go-around with our children.

In that little corner is a world that can fill us with wonder, where dreams can come true, where we can go on an intriguing adventure, or we can even fall in love all over again...reminding us of the first time we fell in love with our husbands. Lucy Montgomery said, “While solitude with dreams is glorious, solitude without them has few charms.” Jerome Kern expressed it differently. He wrote, “The game of just supposing is the sweetest game I know. Our dreams are more romantic than the world we see.”

Perhaps the world we see is full of dirty dishes, soiled diapers, teenagers arguing over an item that was recently borrowed, and busy husbands that forget to give us a kiss before they walk out the door. This can make a homemaker feel discouraged. Times like this are when we would like to enter the World of Make-Believe.

How many times have you wished to go on an adventure in the jungles of South America, follow Harry Potter into a magical world, or to fall in love all over again? We need to be reminded of that romantic love. Novels are a “god-send” and can give us that extra little “umph” that we need. They can also teach us and remind us where our priorities should be, reminding us to not take our relationships for granted.

My husband and I share the household duties because he knows that his help gives me more time to do the things I would like to do. Once my husband walked into the living room and collapsed on the sofa. His eyes looked weary and his body was tired. When I greeted him, I was tired as well. I had had a long day with the kids, I was pregnant, and the children had not been complete angels. But something happened between us that made me realize what kind of relationship we really had.

Our relatives were visiting when my husband wearily said, "Would you mind unlacing my shoelaces? I'm too tired to bend over."

I didn't mind, so I carefully sat on the floor and adjusted my protruding belly, and then undid his shoelaces. One of the relatives scoffed and said, "He can undo his own shoelaces. Don't you know about Women's Liberation? We're liberated from such demeaning tasks as this."

I just smiled patiently and said, "I do for him what he would do for me.” We give and take in our marriage. He cooks when I'm tired and I undo his shoelaces when he's tired. I believe relationships are founded on compromise and love.

Many times we can forget our priorities in life. In fact, some novels can help us remember our priorities when we are so dogged tired, wondering if we were destined to change diapers and clean house for the rest of our lives.

In my novel, “Melinda and the Wild West,” we can imagine how it feels when Gilbert gazes warmly at Melinda, admiring her integrity and studying her face, as if memorizing every contour of it. We can imagine how it feels when he impulsively lifts her chin and presses his warm lips to hers, making her heart swell within. When Gilbert cradles Melinda in his arms and gazes into her eyes with adoring love, think of the adoring love you have for the man you married and how your love is greater now than the first day of your marriage. Then all your frustrations leave as you sigh and close the novel, just waiting to pick it up when you have time the following day.

Just remember that “if the things we dream about don’t happen to be so, that’s just an unimportant technicality.” (Jerome Kern) The happy ending in the novels you read can happen if you only let it. Life is worth living and will become what we make of it. Just remember to pick up a novel and take some time for yourself and “Make-Believe.”