Dreaming in Real Life

Last night I dreamed that I had taken Mary Bullock, Bo, and Tucker to a giant playdate at someone’s house. Everyone was running around, some people were taking naps, and the girls were playing dress up- even the grown ups.

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When it was time to go I realized that I could not find Bo. Then I realized I couldn’t remember if he had been there at all. Finally, I found his shoes. He must have been here, I thought.

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And it was one of those dreams where you’re running but you just can’t run fast enough– it’s like you’re sinking into quicksand with every step, but you keep running and you just can’t seem to make anything make sense.

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Sometimes when that happens to me in dreams, the real me is able to say: waaaaait just a minute here. If none of this makes sense, this is probably a dream. I mean, two year olds don’t just disappear. And really I can run faster than a slug.

Most days.

But when I woke up, the panic stayed with me for a bit– that feeling of seeing something precious slip from your grasp, the feeling of being powerless to stop it.

I found myself saying out loud to someone the other day what I have been thinking in my head since Tucker was born: that having three children is just a little more than I can comfortably handle.

I have more children than I have eyes to see them. More children than I have arms, legs, lips. There’s something totally alarming about those ratios to me.

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But it’s also a daily reminder of how little of life is in my control in the first place, and that letting go of the illusion of being in control is a necessary exercise in faith.

I do what I can do to keep my children safe and healthy. What I can’t do, I pray about, and I take comfort in knowing that the gaps will somehow get filled.

So when I’m sinking in quicksand and nothing makes sense, someone is running ahead of me to whom everything makes perfect sense.

That knowledge allows me to sleep at night, and dream other dreams- maybe ones where I sprout octopus arms.

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(That last picture is clearly not mine– credit to Jenny.)

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