Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dreams

Thanks to a lovely combination of exhaustion and illness this week, my dreams have been strange and sometimes nightmarish.  Nothing like being sick and tired and waking up gasping from some horrid nightmare where you are being electrocuted by an unseen assailant. 

I always have crazy dreams, though I have gotten used to them being more fun-crazy than terrible-crazy, because I don't have nightmares all that often, anymore.

The dream that disturbed me the most this week and had me up wandering the house in the middle of the night wasn't even a nightmare.  Not really.

I was on a school bus with my oldest daughter and the bus stopped.  Suddenly, she is out the window (don't know why...you know how dreams are) and the bus starts to take off.  I look back and there is my daughter, only she is somehow a little girl of 8 again.

In the dream she is crying and chasing the bus and I am paralyzed- I can't yell or stop the bus.  I am looking at her sad and scared little girl face and then *poof* I woke up.

In the history of bad dreams, this doesn't seem all that awful.  However, I found it so disturbing- the sadness and fear on her little girl face, even the old familiar outfit she had on was upsetting.

 I got up and checked on all the kids and then because I felt so anxious and inexplicably sad, I didn't go back to bed for a long time.  I feel like crying every time I think of it and I have been smothering all the kids, but her especially, this week with extra hugs.  Even when she was cranky and didn't want to be hugged.

Maybe I had the dream because it has been on my mind lately how quickly my kids are growing up and how bittersweet that is.  They are great kids and I am very proud of them and they way they have 'turned out', but I often miss the days when they were babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  

There are many days, when I see people struggling with their little ones, that I think, 'Thank God mine are older now and I don't have to do all that.'  But, to be completely honest- I miss it.  All of it.  

I also feel a lot of guilt because when my two oldest were little, I worked, ALL THE TIME.  I missed so much.  I used to see them for an hour or two, long enough to feed and bathe them before bed and then the next day threw clothes on them before rushing them back to daycare.  When I had time off, I was so tired that I couldn't give them all the attention they deserved. 

I have always regretted that and if I had it to do over again, I definitely wouldn't bother with working at that time- it isn't like I loved my job ( I loathed it) or that I got ahead financially ( I sooooooo didn't).  

So, maybe that is why my dream was haunted by my daughter as a sad little girl, because I mourn the time I wasted and the fact that soon, my first born, my first love, will be all grown up.  I don't know if my heart can take it.  I think empty nest syndrome would kill me.

All of this churning up of regret and emotion has helped clarify some things for me, too. Even though I have far more time with the kids now, I still spend too much time on this stupid computer- reading emails, playing games, stalking Facebook, reading the hundreds of blogs that I follow and entering contests.  Yes, even my little bit of sporadic blogging is time that could be better spent.

I think it was really clarified for me when I didn't have internet for those several days, how much time I waste online.  Yes, I enjoy it, but I can't rewind the clock on my family's childhood.  They will only be calling, 'watch me' and 'look at this' for just so long.  They will only want to play catch or house or library for just so many years.

When I look back I don't want to remember  life passing, behind my back as I clacked away at a computer.

This is my long-winded way of saying, I am going to be reducing my online presence.  I am going to force myself to an hour a day.  Obviously, this is going to affect how much I can read and write.  I will attempt to post something on here once a week and I will try to make the rounds to my favorite blogs on that day also.

I can't say that I am going to regret cutting my time online down, because I know that what I am gaining is far more valuable.  I shall miss my daily dose of some of my favorite bloggers and entering all those contests, but reading a blog or winning a new DVD doesn't compare to reading stories to my kids.