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They helped shape that boy you liked into the man you love. His eyes used to dance as he shared them with you. They still dance when his thoughts play pretend.

They came with the girl he ended up marrying, the one who chased the wind on which they floated. Remember those moments when it seemed like they were almost within her grasp?

Dreams.

Then, life. Storms, marriage, deaths, births, rebirths, careers, nightmares. Our lover’s dreams can die an easy death if we let them.

As she matures into a woman, my daughter will likely hear the same relational nuggets of wisdom I did growing up. Never go to bed angry. The best partnership is not 50/50, but rather 100/100. Love and respect. Forgive often. All great advice. But if there’s one thing I hope to teach her about marriage, through both words and example, it’s this: do not kill your spouse’s dreams. If your lover is a dreamer, let him dream. Foster his dream. Be part of his dream. Don’t be afraid of losing his love while he chases his hopes; be more afraid of crushing them.

I used to dream of being a rodeo queen. Not the girl who wins the pageant and gets to wear the tiara on her hat, but the one who has the fastest horse, excels at barrel racing, and gets to lead the other ladies out of the arena. I never was able to afford a barrel horse on my own, but when my husband and I first got married, a stout quarter horse mare was one of the first purchases we made as a couple. She ended up lacking the necessary drive for barrels, so I never did ride her in a rodeo. The gesture, though—the fact that my husband wanted to help make my little cowgirl fantasy come true—made me so very grateful to have a man like him.

He dreams of having a woodworking shop. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s slowly coming together, one tool at a time. Although sometimes I think we could really use a new kitchen table more than a new saw table, I’m still glad I voted for the saw table. Because not only will it bring the dream shop one step closer to fruition, but it will quite possibly fulfill my wish of having a custom-made farm table, as well. And that’s the beautiful part about it. Helping others build their dreams usually results in one of our own getting built right along with it.

While my husband and I realize that money, timing, and practicalities will always play into decisions we make in regard to dream-chasing, just talking about them generates some great connection and conversation. Of course some of our dreams are silly at this point in our lives. I mean, sure—I can still race horses and he could go spend a few months hunting in Alaska, but neither would be very conducive for our finances or raising small children. It’s fun to daydream though, and we always enjoy a good laugh before moving on to discuss more realistic goals that will aid us in accomplishing the most worthy of our ambitions. After all, what the experts say is true: a dream without a plan is only a wish.

So we dream and plan, plan and pray, letting each other live in the clouds now and then. I find myself singing that endearing melody to my daughter—the one that Kermit the Frog sings about rainbows—and I can’t help thinking that he really was on to something. Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection . . . the lovers, the dreamers and me.

Leann Clarke

Leann Clarke is an outdoor-loving mama who enjoys riding horses, dancing, soaking in a good book, and hunting with her husband. She’s also mom to two active kiddos who excel at keeping her humble. She believes strongly in prayer, laughter, and eating chocolate for breakfast. Leann shares snippets of her life in Montana and more on her blog, The Hunting Mom.

 
 

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