Now that Connor has finally decided that being on his stomach isn’t so bad, he’s rolling all over the place. If you set him down on one end of the room, I can guarantee you that he will soon be on the other. I wonder if he thinks to himself, man, if I had just realized how fun this was months ago when I first rolled over? He’s attempting to get into the crawling position, too. He also attempted to climb off our bed the other night. Maybe now, with all his progress, the dreams will stop.
I have these repetitive dreams in which he either starts imitating consonant sounds or starts saying words, and others where he starts to walk. They are, quite possibly, the most realistic dreams I have ever had. Every time I wake up from one, I spend a few moments discerning whether or not it really happened. When I realize it was a dream, I always feel profoundly disappointed and sad. But he’s getting there. He’s progressing every day.
Repetitive dreams both fascinate and annoy me. I’ve always had them, but they seem to change with each phase in my life. The ones I most vividly remember from when I was a kid involve cars, specifically my parents 1986 Ford Aerostar minivan. My parents bought the van upon our return from being stationed in Okinawa, Japan. We were headed to Merced, California, where we would take many drives to Yosemite and all over the west. My dreams at that time had me in the third seat of the van, on the winding mountain roads we so often took trips on, but there was never any driver. It always appeared to be just on the precipice of going over, but it didn’t happen. I was helpless in the back with a distinct sense of having no control.
My other car-related dream consisted of me sitting in a passenger seat of car of uncertain origin. Sometimes it seemed to resemble my mom’s 1966 Mustang, which she drove until 1992, when we moved to Atlanta and my parents bought an Explorer to accompany it’s Ford friend, the Aerostar (that damn van wouldn’t die for a few more years, subjecting me to the humiliating experience of having a driver’s license but not always being able to convince my parents to give me the Explorer for the evening). It’s 2013, and the Mustang is still in the garage buried under the remnants of my parent’s children, who moved out, but refuse to come back for all their stuff. Anyway, in the dream, I don’t know who was driving, but there was a hole in the floor of the car where my feet should have gone. My stuff would fall through, and I would fight not to fall onto the pavement as it rushed by underneath.
At some point I went from cars to dinosaurs. I can probably blame Steven Spielberg for that. Dream after dream I was in some random house with other people, mostly my age, but not always, hiding and dodging raptors and–whatever that dinosaur was that nailed Newman in the movie. If I could just get to that elusive front door, I would be okay…
Around the time I went to college I started having the worst dreams ever–the paralysis dreams. I have read somewhere that these may not be dreams, that it’s actually your brain waking up before your body–but either way, it’s terrifying. I would seem to wake up, but was unable to move or even open my eyes. I’d struggle with all my might to move from my frozen position, but it felt like several minutes before I could. In reality, it was probably just seconds, but it did nothing for my severe claustrophobia. Sometimes it would happen during a nap and I’d finally fly up off the bottom bunk, gasping for breath, roommate fearfully inching away from me.
Then came the teeth dreams that persist to this day. I discover that a tooth is loose, and unable to keep from messing with it, it ends up falling out. It has always been just one tooth until just a few nights ago when I lost three. I’m hoping that just means it’s the end of a dream era.
Then there are the dreams of never ending frustration. One is the entirely standard “I have to take a final, but I never went to class and I don’t even know where to go” dream. Not very much original material there, except that I’m always trying to make my way from my dorm on University of Georgia’s south campus to my class on north campus. I always seem to be on Sanford Drive, past the stadium and near the journalism building. I also have dreams where I am desperately looking for a bathroom, but no matter what bathroom I find, it’s impossible to use it without being visible to the public. Sometimes that’s because it’s just a huge, unisex room of toilets, and sometimes there’s a huge window facing crowds of people passing by. And finally, there are the dreams where I have to move out of wherever I am living, but can’t make any headway with packing. Things just keep coming up that get in the way.
Notice an unpleasant theme here? They’re all anxiety-based dreams. And I have them even when my waking life is in a state of pharmaceutically induced calmness. No repetitive dreams about Bradley Cooper, or winning a million dollars, or getting back into my size 4 jeans. Nope. Just the ones that leave that icky feeling that last through the first cup of coffee.
So tell me, what do YOU dream about?