When I Grow Up

When I grow up and I get my own room, by which I mean when my kids finally stick my old, sick, complaining self into the nursing home, this tree will live in it forever. I will decorate it only with fairy lights and unicorns and sparkly ribbons, and it will make me happy.

I made this picture extra large so you can fully appreciate this magnificent tree's awesomeness.

I made this picture extra large so you can fully appreciate this magnificent tree’s awesomeness.

This isn’t just some wild fancy of mine — it’s actually a brilliant plan that is at least as important as ensuring that I will be able to pay for the nursing home while I am there.

In my childhood, just one look at a rainbow Christmas tree covered with unicorns would have been like achieving Nirvana. All my fires of desire would have been extinguished. And if old age is really just a return to a childlike state, as so many people say it is, then what could make me happier than living out the rest of my days basking in the fairy-lit glow of my childhood’s grandest dream?

My rainbow and unicorn tree will also make interactions with the nursing home staff more pleasant. For them, at least. Because the fanciful cheerfulness of a tree like this one will undoubtedly make it slightly more bearable for them to change my adult diapers while listening to me expound on the status of my prolapsed uterus. And yes, I know, there are actually people who do not love unicorns and rainbows. To them, I will seem like a strange old bat who is just barely on the flip side of crazy and they will tread lightly around me out of the simple fear that they will push me over that edge.

I will always have visitors, too, because let’s face it: who wouldn’t want to come see the dotty old lady who lives year round with a unicorn-festooned Christmas tree? I would probably even get written up in the local newspaper, which would elevate me to the pinnacle of successful senior-citizenhood: The status of one who can tote a laminated newspaper article about herself, with its accompanying photograph, everywhere she goes. And if I am able to assume this most coveted of roles, I will be sure to bring my treasure, in its manila envelope, to every single appointment with my myriad of doctors, feigning forgetfulness when I show it to them time and time again.

I think I may have put to rest all of my worries about old age. I mean, who needs wills, or financial advisors, or nerve pills, or diabetic support socks when there are novelty Christmas trees and nursing home fame.


Note: All senior citizen stereotypes are based on my dear, quirky, and greatly missed grandmothers.

Journey to Imagination

One of the best parts of parenthood is that it allows you to revisit the world of imagination, and to see it through the eyes of your children with the added perspective of adulthood. You realize, perhaps for the first time, how miraculous the imagination of a child really is.

For example, our dog, Fred, often plays a vital role in my daughter’s games. Fred is a former stray who was found wandering in the wilds of West Virginia. Fred is a mutt of dubious origin – he looks a little like a Husky and a little like a Basset Hound. He has beautiful black, gray, and white markings on a long, stumpy-legged body. In human terms, Fred would be the love child of Uma Thurman and Danny DeVito.


He’s cute. He’s grumpy. He’s weird.

But this odd-looking, neurotic little animal has an important job. In my girls’ games, he plays the role of the unicorn. It doesn’t matter if he is curled up on the couch snoring, or if he is barking vociferously at the squirrels in our yard. He is there, and he is the majestic unicorn.

That’s right folks, this funny-looking mutt stars as the most mystical, most magical, most beautiful animal ever imagined.

And that is the miracle of imagination.