This question came up at my last party, and my answer was too brief to capture what I dream of, so here's the expanded version (warning, don't expect anything grand, I'm a bit of an Epicurean at heart):
We are in our home. The home is modest, but well designed, near the university where we both lecture. Its primary attribute is the ability to host large, informal dinner parties, and tonight we are having one of those, though not a huge one. Our friends, mostly intellectuals and artists, are chatting in the living room and kitchen, some of our students are here, and some of their friends, there are enough new people to spark discussions and enough people who know each other to make the room comfortable. There are interesting conversations on a variety of topics, witty repartÃ©, and a few risque jests here and there. There is, above all, laughter and happiness.
As the evening progresses, guests drift out, and the children (or maybe just one child) drift to sleep, maybe in your arms, maybe in mine. At some point we rouse them and march them off to bed. A small core of students and other professors remains, and we talk quietly about the nature of design, life, the universe and everything.
Sometime in the wee morning the last of the guests leaves. You are dancing about the living room, your eyes flashing with ideas and possibilities for some new paper you've conceived. I spin you a few times and we do an impromptu tango into the kitchen where your words spill out as you explain the paper you want to write while I clear the perishables from the counters and make some hot chocolate.
You perch on the arm of the couch where I sit back in the living room and continue to explain your ideas. Eventually you run down, and I try to give back to you what I've seen in your explanation, hopefully helping with organising, systematising and connecting it to the broader picture we share of the world and its workings. You slide off the couch arm and drape yourself over me, making some gentle joke or other.
After a half hour or so of sitting and cuddling, we finish our hot chocolate and I scoot you off to bed with an affectionate pat on your behind. You take two steps then turn and make some mocking challenge, so I chase you up the stairs laughing, and we fall into bed in a tangled heap.
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