Upcoming monumental events cause me a bit of angst, anxiety, and apprehension.
For example, each August I methodically prepare to meet a new group of second graders. I hang posters, write out name tags, copy wonderfully engaging papers, plan ice breaking activities, and decorate my classroom door all in eager anticipation.
It seems that no matter how long I’ve been teaching, every August I still get nervous. With those nerves come dreams. My anxiety permeates my subconscious. It never fails, that my dreams are unpleasant. No matter how prepared I am in the real world, in dreamland I am usually very unprepared for the first day of school. My papers are not copied, the children are rowdy, no one knows which seat belongs to them, I’m late to class, or simply have no control over the students. After a dream like the aforementioned, I usually wake up, mop my brow, and expel a big “Whew, glad that was only a dream.” And then the first day of school comes off without a hitch.
Considering my past, I’ve been a little concerned as to why I’ve only dreamed about my baby once, and I haven’t dreamed about the labor or birth of my baby yet. I mean, it’s not as if this is not an upcoming monumental event! Or it’s not as if I’m not experiencing some angst, anxiety, and apprehension. By now I should be riddled with night terrors. But I’m not.
I woke up this morning with a smile. Why? Because she visited me in my dream, and it wasn’t a horrific labor that caused me to sit up with sweat gluing my gown to my back. Nor was she sick or crying. She was sleeping, and I walked into her nursery and there she was lying on her stomach (yes I know, she should be one her back).
She was a tiny little thing sleeping peacefully. I reached down into her crib and placed my hand on her back to rub her gently. She awoke. Not the sleepy-eyed, grumpy kind of awakening, but rather a “yea, my mommy’s here!” kind of awakening. You know how weird dreams can be, so although her body was small, she was much older and developmentally capable of more. She sat on her knees with her arms outstretched. I picked her up, but I couldn’t see her face. Her hair was brown and mussed and it grew down into a point on her forehead, kind of like Dracula needing a haircut in the worst way. I remember wanting to see her face so badly, wondering what she looked like. I was seeing her for the first time. I reached my forefinger towards her hair and swept it to the left out of her eyes. And there she was. She wasn’t anything spectacular or breathtaking to behold. She was a baby. My baby. A baby I’ve never seen before until last night.
She had small brown eyes, and chubby cheeks, and a pudgy little nose. And when she smiled, two little bottom teeth appeared. She was happy and energetic and glad to see me. It was as if she’d been waiting to see me as long as I’ve been waiting to see her. But what made the dream so realistic was the fact that her nose was dirty, and her eyes were sleep-filled. Little dried sleepies rested in the corner of her eyes, and her nose had run in the night and she had dried crusties on the edge of her nostrils.
Then I carried her to the living room and handed her to her daddy because I was late for work. My house filled with people, strangers that I didn’t know. I was upset because no one had woken me for work, and my face scrub was missing out of my shower, and someone had rummaged through all my cabinets and nothing was where is was supposed to be. Then I was running a race on the highway. You know how weird dreams can be.
I wanted to write my baby dream down however, because I am clinging to that image in my mind. As the hours pass, it’s vanishing, ever so slowly, because that’s what a dream will do. There will be a fading, and then a fragment here and there, until it’s forgotten completely.
We’re down to 11 days until her due date. On Thursday, I’m having a sonogram. There isn’t any concern, but the doctor would like to get a birth weight estimate and check my fluids. I think it’s just a way to get more money, but at least we’ll get to see her little face and I’m sure I’ll post the pictures.
And then, a few days after that, we’ll get to see her face for real. It won’t be long until we’ll stumble through the house in the dark, sweep her hair off her forehead, pick her up from her crib, clean her crusty nose and boogery eyes, smother her in kisses, tell her how glad we are to see her, and how much we love her.
It won’t be long.