The Stuff Dreams are Made of

I had a nightmare this morning that I could not wake up from. There had been a storm and my partner and I had been out of town during it. When we returned, we discovered that the neighborhood had flooded. And that our daughter, our beautiful, kind, fierce daughter, had gotten stuck in some debris when she was helping another kid and drowned.

The dream kept going and that was the worst part, living with the reality of what it meant to have this huge gap in our family. It was horrible, really horrible. At one point, I stepped into a closet to have a cry, because I did not like crying so much in front of the other kids, and I was begging the powers that be to please, please let me out of this nightmare, to let it be a dream. I must have even said the word ‘please’ aloud because I woke up to that sound. What a relief to be able to live in a world where my daughter is safe and sound, sleeping in the other room. That other place is not where I wish to ever be again.

Nightmares like that help us, I know, to deal with the terrible. And the positive albeit fleeting result is that you are filled with a sense of appreciation for your current situation. Like today, yes, I have to work on a Saturday but the morning involves watching a shadow-play performance with the students and the afternoon features a paper airplane flying contest. So not so horrible.

And tomorrow, on Mother’s Day, we are going to head downtown to play at the science museum and have a picnic in the park by the castle, despite the fact that my partner’s paycheck did not materialize yet. We can afford such small adventures because we live in a place that has a free science museum and affordable public transportation.

All told, there is a lot to be grateful for in this life. If this reality is simply the dreamworld of another less cheery realm, I am happy to keep dreaming.