Dreams have always fascinated me. It pains me when someone will say, "Oh, I don't dream" or "I never remember mine" because I wish everyone could enjoy them like I do. Every single night, I dream. Some are so vivid and real, I can recall the tiniest details months, sometimes even years, later. When I was little, like maybe 5 or 6, I had a dream that my cousins and I were all gathered in the big red barn on my paternal grandparent's farm. There were about ten of us, and we were all in our pajamas. Some of us were sitting on bales of hay, and some of us were huddled on the floor, wrapped in those thick, scratchy wool blankets they used to keep the baby animals warm during frigid cold snaps.
One of my uncles walked into the barn, and closed the big doors behind him. Then, as my cousins and I watched, he began the horrifying transformation into a freaking werewolf. Uncle Gary, please forgive me but for many years after that dream, I always made sure there was a clear path to an exit when you were around (love you).
The idea of dreams being something other than "head movies" (what? Yes, it's a Tropic Thunder quote, thank you very much) is intriguing as well. I love a good supernatural dream story...unless we're talking about the movie Inception which just made me feel really dumb. I adore the idea of our subconscious minds holding keys to problems or concerns our very wide awake brains grapple with. The old idiom, "sleep on it" makes perfect sense to me.
Much to the delight of those around me, I talk about my dreams. A lot. My poor kids are usually the ones who have to endure my early morning coffee-fueled babbling about where I went in my head the night before. They're very polite, though, and do a great job of feigning interest in what Crazy Mom is saying. It probably helps my cause that I tend to do my dream-talk while preparing breakfast. Captive audiences are my favorite.
So, this past Christmas Eve I had one of my super-vivid dreams. In this particular one, I received a phone call from my ex-husband. When I answered, it wasn't actually him...it was his lovely wife. She and I haven't spoken on the phone since a disastrous evening many years ago, when she called to let me know one of my kids was in an ambulance, en route to the hospital. She also chose that moment to call me a "fat bitch" but that's another story for another time. Also, one of the reasons she's not the first person I reach out to when I want to talk.
Her voice was raspy and in the dream she said to me, "We all have strep throat here, just wanted to let you know before the kids come over."
So, Dream Secretary is polite! I love that. But Dream Jenny can be a grudgy shrew so I was all pithy and cold with my reply, which was "I don't want everyone to get sick, so they'll be staying home." And that was that.
Of course I relayed this gripping tale to my brood the next morning as I iced the cinnamon rolls. They laughed (or was it grimacing? I can't tell anymore) and then the day played out as was planned: we opened presents, hung out for a while and then they were picked up by Big Daddy at 11:30.
Three hours later, they came tumbling through the front door, gift bags in hand(s). Molly whipped off her coat and exclaimed, "OH MY GOD MOM. You're never gonna believe this. Right when we walked in the door, Dad told us they had strep."
Chills? Maybe a little. Even though I knew it was pure coincidence, it was still freaky. For a second I imagined myself as a brunette Patricia Arquette in Medium, conjuring up messages and lessons from the Twilight Zone. And also wearing cute pajamas like she did in the show. I thought about other dreams I'd had and wondered just how many of them were only dreams and how many were previews of what was to come? My recurring dream where Melissa McCarthy finds my blog and decides she wants to make it into a movie and PLAY ME and we become the best of friends? Could it be true?
And now Molly has a sore throat. As much as I want to dream about me owning Kate Winslet's cottage from The Holiday and having Jon Hamm's car break down on the deserted road out front, I have a sneaking suspicion the film in my brain will look more like a trip to Urgent Care.
Or, it might be Uncle Gary the werewolf. We shall see.
Sweet dreams, my friends.