Monday, April 11, 2011

Nightmares and Dreams

I rarely remember my dreams, but I had what I consider to be the worst nightmare of my life recently.  The nightmare started out well, as they usually do.  Michael and I were in some kind of store having a great time together.  The shelves in this store were made out of a really lightweight plastic, and when a spot was empty on the shelf you could see through to the next aisle over.  Michael was on one side of the shelf and I was on the other and we were playing peek-a-boo.  We were both having a blast.  Then he started trying to climb through the hole to get to me and the entire shelf and all its contents began to fall towards him.  I tried to catch the shelf to prevent it from falling but I couldn’t hold it up.  That shelf and the next three shelves all toppled over like dominos burying Michael underneath. 

My first response in the dream was embarrassment – not worry.  The shelves were so lightweight I really thought he was ok under there and I was more embarrassed that we had made such a huge mess in the store and attracted so much attention.  Then I started frantically trying to dig him out.  When I found him, he was mostly limp and dazed.  He was confused and murmuring, “Mama” over and over again.  Then, in a flash, in the way of dreams I suddenly knew that this was very bad.  I cradled him in my arms sobbing.  I knew he was going to die.  Then I woke up.  My face was covered in tears and my heart was racing.  I felt sick.  Seriously, it was the worst nightmare of my life. 

As a contrast, I also recently remembered a good dream.  In high school I lived in Pennsylvania in a home with a pretty unique architecture.  For example, this house had two kitchens – one on each end.  It also had two bathrooms side by side.  The elderly couple who owned the house before us apparently liked to keep things separate and converted a screened in porch to an extra kitchen and one large bathroom into two small ones. 

In my dream my family as it is now (my husband and I, and Michael and Ava) were living in the PA house.  I was in the extra kitchen and found a previously undiscovered cabinet full of old toys.  The kids were elated.  As I pulled the toys from the cabinet I found a hidden door and tunnel.  We crawled into the tunnel and found a passageway that ended in a secret playroom and nursery.  The playroom was full of really cool 60s era toys and the nursery was kind of like the one in Peter Pan.   It was a bedroom for two decorated beautifully with two twin beds, small dressers, lamps, mobiles, a rocking horse, etc. 

As I describe it, the dream sounds pretty mundane and unremarkable, but it felt like adventure, discovery, and treasure all rolled into one and left me feeling happy.  Well, I was happy until I found out that I was awoken by my husband calling for assistance because Michael had thrown up.  Isn’t life with young children always like that?

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