His Shirt

I came home this morning from the Hypnotist’s house, threw my purse on the bench and my backpack in my office and ran upstairs to bury my face in the white t-shirt he leaves behind for me to wear, or sleep in, or sniff, when he’s not here. We’d had a perfectly mundane – and yet perfectly perfect – night together last night, and I just wanted to hold onto that for a few more minutes before I started my busy day away from him.

Yes, I post a lot about the sex and the kink and the D/s and the hypno stuff. And all of that is spectacular and amazing and mind-blowing in ways I never could have dreamed of. But these past couple weeks since I’ve been back from Hawaii, I have been reminded, again and again, that there’s so much more to this than sex and kink and hypno stuff.

And I never expected that.

I’d started a blog post awhile ago that I titled “Dream Big.” The inspiration for it was this little plaque I have:

It is meant to be hung on a hook or a wall, but I’ve never tied it down that way: it moves from place to place in the house, from bathroom shelf to my office, to the living room or the baker’s rack in the dining room or to the kitchen window, depending on where I need it to be.

For awhile, after W died and when I was desperately struggling in my relationship with V, I put it away in a drawer. Big dreams didn’t feel obtainable; or maybe the dreams I had were too big to be contained in the little box I was stuffed into by that relationship, and leaving them behind seemed like the only thing I could do.

Later, when that relationship came to its stuttering, ignominious and painful end, and I had had some time to heal, I discovered the little plaque in its drawer. Hesitantly, I took it out. Held it in my hand. Considered what “dreaming big” meant, and if I even had any dreams left in me.

Turns out I did. It took awhile for me to voice them again, even to myself, but, in spite of everything – or maybe because of everything? – I am an eternal optimist, and once again I am throwing my “big dreams” out to the universe, in the hope that they are heard.

But these past two weeks – and this morning in particular – I am reminded that dreaming “big” is not all there is to a life: a life is lived in its small, precious moments as well; maybe even mostly in those moments.

It is in being at a birthday party with the two of them and looking over to see them sitting on a couch together, discussing something animatedly, seeing their smiles when they both glance up and see me watching them, and hearing their laughter as they return to their discussion.

It is in laying in bed next to K, faces so close they are almost touching, my hands stroking his back as we talk about inconsequential things, like the relative merits of medium vs medium rare steak; and deciding, okay, we’re mostly compatible there, so it’s all good.

It’s in spending a day of cooking with K and my youngest son, listening as they tease me for some silly thing, their shared laughter; and hearing the love in both their voices when they speak to me.

It’s in introducing K to my parents and sister and her family and having no one bat an eye (at least to my face.)

It’s in the two of them, Ad and K, changing the sheets on my bed together, because I’ve hurt my back, and K putting the top sheet printed-side down because “that’s the way she likes it,” and the two of them chuckling over that.

It’s in having the daughter over for dinner and board games and looking up to see K setting the table, beautifully, while the Girl and I chat, without my having asked.

It’s in hearing my sister say, “He lights up when he looks at you.”

It’s in grocery shopping and couch shopping with him and in hearing him say, “It’ll be okay, this is what I’m good at,” when everything feels like it’s falling to shit at the last minute of getting Thanksgiving dinner together and it turns out that yes, it is one of the many things he’s good at…

It’s in how he makes me a better dog mom and my dog a better dog, and in how my dog adores him but also respects his authority.

It’s in how he and I and Ad can laugh until we’re almost crying watching stupid TV shows together.

It’s sitting in the warmth of his car in the dark, listening to an album he loves the entire way through, his voice husky and sweet as he sings every song.

It’s in how easy we all fit together and how he talks about the future and says “we” and has made space for me in his life and has settled into a space in my life that feels both shiny and new and as though he has been a part of it forever.

And it’s the touch of his hand on my hip, drawing me closer to him, my little spoon to his big, and his voice in my ear: “I love you,” and in knowing and feeling the simple, utter truth of that.

I don’t know that I need to “dream big” anymore. “Big” is here, and now, and I am living it.

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