Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Is this a dream?

Lately both my older children have asked me if this reality we are living is a dream or a movie. It made me remember when I was a child and wondered if I was just in a very long dream and would wake up soon. Dreams were so vivid and they felt so real... it was only upon waking that you realize that none of it was true. Though as we get older we realize that our dreams ARE trying to tell us something... at least sometimes.

I remember having a wonderful dream once about my mother arriving home from work with her car packed full of grocery bags. I could see all the wonderful things in the bag and I plotted about what I might get into first. It was the end of the day and I awoke from a nap to greet my mom and help her carry in the groceries. I was happy to help bring those bags in... there was a great variety of food in those bags and things we never could afford. Then I was rudely awakened by a sibling informing "Mom was home" but reality was so different from my dream. There were no grocery bags to be brought in and I was so disappointed. The feeling and anticipation was so real that the let down was real as well.

When my parents got divorced and my mom was raising us alone... struggling to keep food on the table and the heat on while she worked and went to school I once had a thought that maybe this WAS a dream and a bad dream at that. Maybe I would wake up and be very relieved. My first existential thought. I am not sure how old I was ... maybe 7 or 8.

So when my kids started asking me if this reality, this moment in time was real or a dream...I found myself reassuring them that yes this life was real. And also wondering what they were thinking... were they relieved or disappointed?

When watching movies my son always asks whether what we are watching is real. Sometimes the answer is more difficult than yes or no. "Yes this once happened." "These people were alive at one time." No Superman is a cartoon character. He is not flying around Earth saving people except in our imaginations." These answers seem to placate him. He knows that the Buzz Lightyear character we see at Disney World is just someone dressing up in a costume. At least he is close to knowing that. But then he is also grilling me about the tooth fairy too. He doesn't push too hard cause then where woulds the money come from? He is one smart boy.

My daughter on the other hand, asked me if this life we are living is a movie. She is literally comparing us to Cinderella or Alladin. And the thing is... she seems these characters at Disney and they look very very real to her. So if we can see these "real" princesses at Disney and then in a movie... maybe there are people watching us.

I assure her that we are not a movie.. and if we were we would bomb at the box office cause nothing exciting happens around here. Well, other than losing teeth and wondering why the tooth fairy fails to deliver over and over again. Or losing a battle with the scissors and having to have your hair cut to its shortest length ever. These are the little dramas that I wish were only only nightmares in our lives but I know that as the kids grow... they will seem dreamlike and I will cherish each memory... I hope they do too.


Elysa said...

Good thoughts...

Coffee Bean said...

You must have the same bum tooth fairy we had!

I hope you are having a blessed and Happy Mother's Day!