I answered him thoughtfully. “That the house would stay clean for fifteen minutes after the kids get home from school. That I could hire a cook. That the kids would read classics instead of books with corpses on the cover. That my best friend would find a man who treats her right. That tomorrow could be sunny and 75 degrees.

That we could get a tankless water heater! Did you know, I asked him, that those things kick out hot water forever? Even if you have three daughters living in your house?

I wish we could get tickets to the Florida Georgia Line concert. I wish your mother and I could find some common ground.” I walked into the closet to change into my coziest pajamas, and so raised my voice so that he could still hear me. “I wish I could tolerate more than ten minutes of playing Barbies with the girls. What does Barbie really have to say anyway, after she gets home from her date with Ken?”

“That we could spend all summer at the beach together. That our children will grow up to be happy, kind, contributing adults” I walked back to the bed as I considered the rest of my answer. “That I had more time to write,” I said as I let my tired body sink into the luxurious warmth of our aged and therefore very soft sheets. I let out a sigh of relief as I lay my head on my pillow.

This is my favorite time of day. It is quiet and peaceful and safe. I can be completely relaxed and completely myself. I don’t have to clean. I don’t have to think. I don’t have to plan. I don’t have to decide. I can rest.

As I felt his arm slide round my waist, I went on … “To receive a phone call from an actual publisher. To see a book in the library with my name on the spine! That someone would pay me for something I wrote. That a poem of mine would hit the charts in a song sung by Faith Hill.” I could hear my voice getting higher and my words coming faster. ”To be interviewed by Charlie Rose on PBS, or Katie Couric, or…or Barbara Walters! To appear on Book Notes, or on the today show, or on Good morning America!” I was really rolling now. “To see my name after the words ‘adapted from the novel by…’ scrolling up a movie screen. That the main character in my novel would be played by Julia Roberts in the movie version.” I heard him laugh.

That’s not exactly what I had in mind, sweetheart,” he said from somewhere over my left shoulder,”when I asked about your wildest fantasies.”

Up on one elbow now, he kissed my forehead and turned over. “I’ll look into that water heater tomorrow.” And then he was asleep.