Every night before bed, as part of the bedtime routine that gets my kids to sleep all night, my oldest and I decide where we’re going to meet in our dreams.
Sometimes we decide on a magical place like Mermaid’s Lagoon in Neverland or on a rocket ship blasting through space. Other nights we choose somewhere familiar, like a playground up the street or our backyard swing set. Whatever we decide, the plan is, once we fall asleep, that’s where we’ll both be.
It’s kind of like the opposite of Nightmare on Elm Street.
Most of the time…
Because some nights, we forget to decide on our rendezvous point until the exact moment I am closing the door after bedtime. And on those nights, my eyes perform a roll so over-the-top, that I fear my ocular nerve might snap. But it doesn’t. And we pick a place (never my first suggestion, of course, but ultimately we decide) and I close the door.
Then I set about the business of most busy parents after bedtime and never give our dream place another thought. But he does. I know that my little 4-year-old boy, settles into his pillow and closes his eyes; willing himself to sleep so that he can meet his mom in Mermaid’s Lagoon.
Because that’s all a kid ever really wants. To be with his mom. Somewhere. Anywhere. Asleep. Awake. It doesn’t matter. For this season, this very short season – all they crave is unwavering, unflinching, unbroken attention from their mom. And I know there will come a day when he no longer needs to know where I’ll be while he sleeping and so that’s why, every night, we’ll choose a place and I’ll give him those hours of comfort.
After all, I’ve found that being a mom means sharing in your child’s dreams…