Who knows what dreams really mean, after all they are sometimes incoherent pulses of the subconscious mind. For some reason, mine can sometimes make me pay attention to something that I didn’t put a lot of thought into the first time around. Last night was one of those times.
In my dream you were probably closer to 4 or 5 and you were riding a bike with no training wheels and very independent in your thoughts and actions. I was following close behind to watch you how you interacted with the world around yo, but you didn’t know I was there. It was sad because it was like you were finding your own way in life without any help from your mother or father and you were like a latch-key kid in your own little world. It bothered me because you are very loved by both of us and hopefully we have provided you with the correct parenting thus far. You didn’t talk to strangers and you didn’t wander off into a bad part of the neighborhood, but danger was all around you. The dream went on with me following you and sort of hearing your thoughts on what you were going to do next. They were simple thoughts but of advanced maturity at your age in the dream.
When I awoke from the dream I was saddened. I realized that the neighborhood was actually my old one when I was growing up and the little girl I thought was you was actually me. Although I chose to live with my father and although he provided for me, I had to mature on my own a little faster than most kids at 11. I had the ability to go anywhere and do anything without his consent, but I always had a sense of awareness of what was dangerous and what not to get into. I don’t blame my father for lack of parenting, because even though he could have been better at providing a better rearing for me, I believe God was there to provide for me the nurturing I needed to become who I am today.
I’m not sure what exactly you might take from this, but I felt compelled to write about it. No matter what life throws your way or no matter what troubles you may have growing up I will always be here for you. The inevitability for you to disappointment me is always going to be there as it is with any parent, but my love for you will overcome any obstacle or situation. I will also pray for any lack of parenting on my behalf, that the lord will show you the way as he did for me.
They say time flies when you are having fun, and it couldn’t be more true than right now in my life. Each day seems like an hour as we slowly tick closer to the end of a decade filled with dot com busts, wars, recessions, and me a first time father. I would have thought all the others were more likely to happen if you would have asked me in 2000. I can’t really believe I am 35 now, nor will I accept it.
I still feel like I am in my 20’s and probably act it at times too. No one says you ever have to grow up, and I will stay young for Lia as long as she wants me to. I will always be there for you to give you a ride on my shoulders, and stay by your side when you are feeling under the weather to make you some chicken soup and watch a movie with. After all the fun times we have shared together, I have to admit it’s when you lean on me when we watch T.V together, or the end of the day hug when you arms are just long enough to barely touch each shoulder that I think about when we are apart. I also use your chair as a foot rest and smile each time I see it wondering what you are up to at that very moment.
The other day we were playing with your “Little People” castle you received for Christmas as it seems to be the home run gift thus far. It was then I was able to see a glimpse of your imagination come into play as you seated all your guests around the table for a meal. Of course that is before the Land before Dylan came marching into your fairy tale dream and began knocking over your dinner guests as you exclaim “No!” and push his snout away. You then began to pick them up and re-seat them like nothing ever happened but I could see the cycle starting all over again, because I know Dylan.
You see, The heads of the “Little People” you play with are equivalent to the brain in Dylan’s noggin. He actually thinks there is a dinner going on and wants to sniff the food on their plates although he doesn’t realize it is just a sticker on the toy table. When I see this happening, I can’t help but just watch it happen for entertainment purposes. It’s sort of like popping bubble wrap, addicting and entertaining. So when he comes in again for a quick sniff he accidentally crashes the entire dinner party leaving all your guests lying on the floor with their feet up. I think for a brief moment Dylan actually knew what was coming so he quickly got away as you started a scream that was very similar to the tornado alarms in Oklahoma.
As soon as he was out of your peripheral it was out of sight, out of mind. Although you didn’t turn green and start smashing things, I think next time I will not let Dylan test the waters just to be on the safe side.
You know Dasher, Prancer, Pancho and Pedro???? WHAT! Exactly, those where the lyrics I heard coming from my daughter’s singing Chihuahua. A present from my grandmother who is notorious for giving out interesting Christmas presents. Now don’t get me wrong, God Bless her for trying since she has always had the best intentions, even when she gave me a Snoopy Football shirt when I was 22. She said I can wear it to play basketball at the park.
You see, my grandmother suffers from “you’re not to old for me to spank your little britches” syndrome. Which the most common symptoms include age forgetfulness, handing out quarters for rewards, and last but not least, “creative” gift giving. I love her to death and wouldn’t change her for the world, but now I have a little girl that will now inherit these gifts. Well Lia, great grandma didn’t disappoint this year.
The joy and merriment of Christmas laughter was in the air. People were eating, smiling, opening gifts and sharing stories of Christmas past. As I slid this gift in front of you, you tore into it like a wolverine who hadn’t eaten in weeks. Just then like in the movies the record scratches and complete silence fills the room as we all just gazed at 9″ Chihuahua bobbing back and forth in perfect rhythm with my grandmother as she tries to get you interested in the toy. Then the laughter. It was like an airborne virus as each laugh was harder than the previous. When we actually figured out some of what he was actually saying we laughed harder until we could not laugh anymore. We wiped away the tears as declining chuckles still filled the room here and there. It was a laugh for the ages and we owe it all to my grandmother and your great grandmother.
You hugged the dog and carried it with you the rest of the night continuing to play the song throughout the night. It was a wonderful gift for everyone there, and most of all it was a wonderful gift to you. What made it so special was it was all she could afford this year, and it was priceless. When you are old enough to read this many years from now, I want you to take from this story that money and gifts are nice but love, laughter and life is far more special than any tangible gift. Merry Christmas my sweet angel…
P.S. You had plenty of presents from Mommy and Daddy, but it was the family time that I hope you will always treasure.