Dreams can seem so real to us that sometimes it is momentarily difficult to tell the dream from reality. I have had that happen a few times in my life. Usually it is when we have a nightmare and wake suddenly and we are confused by the emotional state we are in at the moment. We wonder if what we dreamed is real because it feels real. But in the end we understand the difference because we are adults and we have learned from the experience of life to know the difference.
I enjoyed a visit with my little nephew Joshua all on his own the other day. He is three, and we played throughout the morning, both of us having a lot of fun. At one point he started telling me about what seemed to have been a frightening dream he had experienced. He seemed to know that it wasn’t real but he wasn’t really sure how to describe it so that I would know that it was more than just something that he had just been thinking about. He just didn’t have all the necessary vocabulary yet. When I asked him if it was a dream he must have remembered his Mummy or Daddy explaining dreams to him before and he said with much relief “Yes it was. It was a dream”. He relaxed when I reassured him that dreams aren’t real, that they are something our brain does on its own, like a movie it plays for us. They are sometimes about the things we might have been thinking about before we went to sleep, or sometimes the things we are afraid of. And sometimes we do remember those dreams when we wake up.
Having these little moments with children, and to actually watch them process so much information so rapidly as they learn about the great wide world and their place in it is a real joy to me. Thank you, dear nieces of mine,who share your little ones with me. I am blessed by it.
This poem is for Joshua. Never fear Joshua, you don’t need to be embarrassed when someone reads this to you, or even when you read it yourself when you are older. It is not based on true fact. I just imagined it up, which is kind of like dreaming with our eyes open, where we get to decide what the pictures are going to be in our stories. You can do this too, as long as you tell people that it is a story. Because a story is just a story, a dream is just a dream, but
the truth is always the truth.
An Exciting Night At Grandma’s House
Last time I stayed at Grandma’s house,
Just before I said “Goodnight”
She patted my covers all over me,
Then she tucked them in real tight.
Right under my chin she doubled them up
And rolled them under my pillow;
She said “You know it gets cold at night
And you don’t want to get a chill –Oh!
Don’t forget to count some sheep!
And don’t let the bed bugs bite!”
And then she tip-toed out of the room
And turned out the bedroom light.
My arms were pinned down by my side
My feet were hemmed in too.
I felt just like a mummy must,
Or a pouched-in kangaroo.
That’s when I felt a little twinge!
Was that a bed bug’s pinch?
I tried to throw my covers off
But they wouldn’t give an inch!
And then I dreamed of Egypt
And a mighty pharaoh’s tomb—
Of being in a sarcophagus
In a dark and airless room.
I dreamed that my sarcophagus
Was loaded onto a plane;
I flew all the way to Australia
And was loaded onto a train—
Then suddenly the train derailed!
And I was thrown into a river—
A river so warm and peaceful and calm
That I didn’t even shiver.
Then grandma swam up with a joey
Who was free from his mummy’s pouch,
And they helped me to change into dry mummy wraps—
Then we all fell asleep on the couch!