Middle of the night screams are always a little alarming. So naturally, when I heard the pitter-patter of little feet and the frantic screams, I popped up ready to fight off a monster. As my 3 year old got closer to my room, I learned that the “monster” was named “Grandma Daddy Legs”, and not just any 8 legged “Grandma Daddy Legs” but one that was apparently no less than 3 feet in diameter.
Mason stopped screaming shortly after he got to my room, but the urgency in his voice never dwindled. I’m still a little unsure about the origin of the details, whether they came from a dream or his wild imagination, likely a combination of both. Regardless, it was so real to him. He was insistent that this spider came out from under his bed because the spider heard Mason talking about Spiderman in his dream. He questioned why Spiderman hadn’t come to kill the spider.
I took my phone in his room to use as a flashlight, but when I realized the baby was awake I turned on the overhead light. I couldn’t resist using my phone as a video camera instead:
Real vs. not real
Reality vs. dream/imagination
I don’t know at what age we truly understand the differences, but age 3 seems to be a critical age for sorting through the possibilities. I still have vivid dreams. I wrote a post a few months ago about my own encounter with a dream that was just too real.
It feels like we live in between two worlds…one where our mind is allowed to take us wherever it wants to go, often to places we would rather avoid. It forces us to explore the most extreme emotions that are often shoved back in the backs of our minds. Some I can laugh about, some I wouldn’t want to tell a soul.
Waking up in the black of night from a nearly tangible place, we are left in a fog of confusion as we try to sort through feelings and decipher reality. I believe our dreams are an indication of the health of our heart and mind. The more we worry, the more our mind will dwell in a place of fear. I often dream that I am running from something but I keep getting stuck in different obstacles or I can’t force my legs to move very fast. During the day, I can convince myself that everything is great; perhaps night is a time when I face the fact that I ultimately have no control.
When I was young, I dreamed about fun things. I dreamed at least once a week that I could fly; I suppose it was a time when I felt like I could do anything and go anywhere, free of burdens. All of you 26-32 year olds will appreciate this: I vividly remember the night I dreamed that I was JTT’s girlfriend. Talk about a dream I didn’t want to wake up from! I’m still convinced that he really did kiss me.
I don’t want to overanalyze dreams, really. I think sometimes they are just silly because we’ve spent too much time watching Spiderman or JTT. I do hope, however, that my dreams can reflect a life with a healthier balance between fun and serious. And I certainly hope that Mason learns quickly that although there are Grandma Daddy Legs crawling around outside his window, there will never be one big enough to push him out of his bed.