Last week Monday I ended up going to bed very early (8 pm) thanks to a cold and a lovely cold pill that helped me breathe (love that Muscinex D). Whenever this happens (a.k.a., I get enough sleep), I end up with very vivid dreams. That night was no exception but this particular dream was awful, truly the worst I’ve ever had and that is saying something since I can still remember handful of bad dreams from the childhood that all included something chasing me (gorillas, headless horsemen, lions) and trapping me someplace (junkyard, school, my house) – to this day I don’t like to look out windows at night for fear something or someone will pop up in them. Anywho… back to last week’s dream.
In the dream we (Simon, Liam, Jack and I) were all hanging out on a frozen over lake with a bunch of my college friends and their families. We were ice fishing and also sitting around a campfire (on the frozen lake, not sure the logistics of that one). Jack got antsy and so he and I were taking a walk around the lake and were away from everyone else and suddenly we fell through the ice and into the water. I can still feel the fall from my dream, it was so real and it makes my heart race just thinking about it. The water was ice-cold and the minute we fell in, I thought, we are going to die. I knew it without a doubt and yet I fought with all my might to push us upward, to get Jack out of the water because without me helping him, he was for sure not going to make it. And I remember kicking my legs wildly, fighting against the icy water and just praying that I would be able to get him out. It was awful, horrible, terrifying… whatever adjective for very bad you’d like to pick.
And then I woke up and I could not get that scene out of my head (still can’t). It was only 2 a.m. and I wanted to go back to sleep but every time I shut my eyes, it was on replay in my head, I could not escape the desperation and the cold grasp of death that was prevalent in that dream. After an hour or so I ended up reliving it fully in my mind and playing it out so we did get rescued and then I was able to fall back asleep. But I still can’t get the dream from my mind and the next day it made me think how it’s sort of a metaphor for all of parenting. We have children and we spend the rest of our lives fighting (on some level; some might call it raising) to push our kids to the surface, to give them the best advantage, the best chance of living a good, full life. It’s no wonder that being a parent is exhausting and at times terrifying, we’re kicking to the surface, trying to keep everyone afloat; sometimes the water we’re treading is only a couple of feet deep and in a nice backyard swimming pool but sometimes we are fighting with everything in us, in bone-chilling waters. I pray the waters we face are lukewarm and welcoming.
I have no idea where that dream came from in my sub-conscience, but I tell you what, we won’t be going out on frozen water anytime soon (if ever). Add that to the list of my fears.