Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

The Wizard of Oz was to start at 7:30pm. At 7pm my toddler was ready for bed and my infant , having finished nursing, was happily off to dreamland somewhere over the good-night moon rainbow. Then, at 7:03pm the baby cried. I picked him up to quickly console him back to sleep. After gently assisting in getting out the last great burp of the evening, I was instantly rewarded with a gush of leftovers that sloshed all the way down to my ruby red slippers. Yeah, haven't been in Kansas for quite some time now.

Like a cyclone, I furiously changed clothes and hopped into the car. At 7:12pm there were 15 looming miles of yellow brick road ahead of me. I could still make it, barely.

I arrived at the front doors at exactly 7:31pm. The play had already started. The munchkin ushers had barricaded the doors with two metal folding chairs, so it was evident that I would not be visiting Oz tonight. If I only had a brain perhaps I would have made it on time. I cowardly walked down the front steps to wait for intermission as I refused to walk in late and make a scene. I glanced down at the small red gift bag in my hand and sighed as even the Tin Man probably would have been embarrassed by the feminine Valentine's heart covered ensemble. Inside the pink and red tissue paper was a shocking yellow t-shirt that read, "I woke up on the Yellow Brick Road." I thought my fourth-grade nephew would get a kick out of the shirt, even though I was currently missing his performance as a flying monkey. I momentarily contemplated explaining to him that on the way to his play a house fell on me, but I didn't think he'd buy that anymore than my suggesting that I had a matching t-shirt that read, "I got run over on the Yellow Brick Road." Even if I couldn't see him, I was still there to support him.

While I sat clicking my heels together on the concrete auditorium steps, my thoughts wandered to far-away lands and magical places. A dear friend once tried to convince me that there was magic in a place and if only I could feel the magic than I would be happy there. At the time, I had been a lot like Dorothy - naive and lost, yet adventurous and trying to make the best out of the situation. Now, I think my friend was wrong. For me, the magic was never to be found in the place, because it lies within the people I meet along the journey. Each time someone has touched and enriched my life, I know that is magic. Even though there have been times when whether I've wanted to or not, I have decided to leave dreams somewhere over the rainbow, I have never regretted a chance to wake up on the yellow brick road. I hope that some day my nephew and my own boys will understand and appreciate my choice that there truly is no place like home.

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