An unexpected twist in the fairytale

All this last week as I drove the scalawags to school we have been listening to circus music. I think it started because my eldest yanked out the USB drive we had been listening to, and the youngest jostled him and the USB drive fell between the seats, unrecoverable.

I do believe that there were some fisticuffs.

But when the dust settled, they still wanted music, and they are not interested in the hits of the early 90s station (which I will not call oldies) that we can catch on a sunny day broadcasting from somewhere in the Black Forest, just over the Rhine in Germany. (When we can get this station, I am so happy I stay in the car way longer than I ever need to.)

So they found the Cirque du Soleil La Nouba CD I have had since my days working at Walt Disney World, and told me to play it. I have a very significant emotional attachment to that music. I am always in the mood to listen to circus music. They are not.

Last year, I shared about how this very same circus music had been a source of hope at a time when we were struggling with infertility. The overwhelming sense of destiny that I felt, then, earlier this week–when the two living children who resulted from the promises I received while listening to this music in the clinic waiting room that day, begged me to listen to this music–cannot be overstated.

This music does something to my soul. I love that it passes from Gregorian chants to 90s rock electric guitar solos, from a woman singing in gibberish to accordion music. I have always believed that all music is spiritual…God designed music as a way to communicate with him when all else fails. This has been my life experience.

For some reason, this music opens a line of communication between me and God that cannot be explained. It happened all those years ago when I worked at Walt Disney World. It happened those years ago at the infertility clinic.

It happened again this week.

When dreams start to come true…when bits and pieces of the puzzle of your life start to come together and start looking like the box cover you have imagined…it can feel an awful lot like God is smiling at you.

So, let me set the scene:

It is 8:15AM. It is a cold, cold, cold morning. Everything is frozen. The sky is the most sparkling blue color…sunshine so demure and pure that you almost blush.

We have managed, by some twist of fate, to be early for school, so I suggest to the scalawags that we go take a drive…just a mile or so down a country road near their school. There are fields on both sides. It looks like a fairyland.

The music starts:

Begin a tale
With a breath, I inhale
I cast a spell use the words that propel
Set you a sail
To a place where dreams of men dwell
Nightmares efficiently await
To test one’s faith
By how well
You can deal with a tale
That tells Itself
Said the Storyteller
A bestseller is what I have in mind
Ladies and gentlemen
Settle in, “Once Upon a Time”
Is where you’ll find me
La Nouba.

Those are the words that gave me courage to face the unpleasantness of the infertility tests eight years ago. Those were now the words that were telling me that my puzzle box cover was coming together…in a way that I could never have dared to ask for.

The boys are absolutely silent, looking out their windows at the fields, which were trimmed with ice. I kept driving.

All the answers to the questions I ask myself all the time: Why do I have so many beautiful clothes? Why do I have a fairy princess vibe that I just can’t shake? Why is it, that in spite of all my best efforts, I just can’t act like a grown-up around other adults?

THIS was why. Whatever is happening, whatever comes from the manic writing and the lifelong dream of being a public speaker and the living in France. That is why.

Maybe my brand of Gravitas is never going to look like Kamala Harris’. Maybe, my indulgent husband was right 25 years ago when he said, “Why would you want to grow up, when being childlike is what makes you so fun to be around?”

It all came to a head when I got this message from my Marketing Guy. I only left my response so that you could see the time stamp. Cause that’s how I roll, friends.

Once upon a time” is where you’ll find me…

I have absolutely no idea where exactly all this is headed. But I knew, for the time of a car ride this week, that I am on exactly the right road, at exactly the right time, with exactly the right people on my team.

I thought about Izabela, who helped me set up the blog. I thought about Jonathan, my friend and colleague who walked me through the ins and outs of getting the podcast started. Eric, who showed me how to edit.

I thought about Genevieve and how she made me feel like it was okay to not be people people. I thought about Aline, and all the gorgeous fairy princess-worthy clothes she gave me.

I thought about Hollywood, and how he appeared like a marketing genie in a bottle. I thought about my wordsmith poet and social media mogul friend on the opposite side of the world, who brainstorms taglines like a hurricane and never sleeps.

I thought about Lynne, who helped me discover ways to do my own graphic design.

I thought about my sister, and her listening ear and how precious she has been since this whole COVID epidemic started…how, with the world being so small now, that we have been closer than ever, in spite of 9 hours of time difference and thousands and thousands and thousands of miles.

I thought about my mother, my own personal fairy godmother, who let me believe I was a fairytale heroine for far longer than I probably should have believed it.

All the doubts that I usually carry about my own worth, about my skills, about my desires…they were frozen like those cornstalks in the field. They didn’t matter anymore.

“Mama,” said my eldest, out of nowhere breaking the reverent silence. “You’re gonna be famous.”

“Maybe. Maybe not,” I replied. “But what I am going to do is invest those gold coins Jesus gave me.”

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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