As a little girl, one of the very first things I had to do when I woke up was to find my grandmother and tell her my dreams from the night.
Within her mind, my Abuela held the Field Guide to Dream Interpretation. She had it all up here.
My Abuela knew it all; the meaning behind the color of the dress you wore in your dream, or whether your hair was loose or pulled tight. You’d present the facts, she’d pose a few key questions back, and there you’d have it: what your subconscious was trying to tell you.
I’m lucky enough to still remember some of her interpretations and now it’s my children who come to the breakfast table and in between spoonfuls of Frosted Flakes, tell me about the mouse in their dream that tried to come in through the wall behind their bed.
I always begin with the first line of action: Information-Gathering.
Scene: Breakfast table, children all around
Me: How'd you guys sleep last night? Any good dreams?
17 year old: Yeah. Good one. Mouse. Trying to get me.
Me: OMG. Was it a white mouse or a grey mouse? Or … BLACK?? This is important!
17 year old: ::slurp glorp:: ummmmmm …. black. no, wait. Grey.
Me: Never kid about the color!! Especially black!! Are you sure it was grey??? Are you SURE?
17 year old: ::guzzle swallow:: yup. Grey.
Me: For sure it was a mouse? Not a rat?
17 year old: ::gulp chew:: a mouse. For sure. Mouse.
Me: Was it scratching at the wall or did it come through the wall?
17 year old: ::crunch munch:: I could only hear him. But he was trying to get through. Definitely trying to get through.
Me: Oh my gosh. Trying to get through?? But he didn’t, right?
17 year old: ::smack lick:: nope. Never got through. But I could hear him.
Me: Were you scared? Do you remember feeling scared?
17 year old: ::pouring more juice:: oh. yeah. Scared for sure. My heart was pounding. I tried to call for you because I was so scared, I mouthed MOOOOOM! but nothing came out, I had no voice.
Me: You had no voice?? And you tried to call me? Oh my dear lord. This is worse than what I thought it would be!
17 year old: ::wiping mouth to go:: yeah. I remember feeling, I only wanted you, mom. Well, gotta go to school now.
Me: No. No. NO. Wait. Don’t you get it? YOU tried to call ME. It wasn’t about the mouse at all it was about you feeling you can’t reach me. That I don’t help you, that I’m not around. Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry. Let’s do something this weekend, okay? Just me and you. A movie? You want some new jeans? Let’s go have lunch, and then go to Best Buy. You want that new Call of Duty game, right?
17 year old: ::gets up to go:: Sounds good, mom. I love you. This Saturday, me and you. Gotta go now or I’ll be late. Can’t wait for this weekend.
My 17 year old kisses me good-bye and leaves. I smile, grateful that he remembers enough from his subconscious to share it with me.
I see him leave the kitchen but what I don’t get to see is him, passing his 15-year-old brother in the hallway. On the way out, he whispers to him, “Sorry. I was kinda foggy this morning so I pulled the silent *screaming for her* in my dream one today. I know you called that one last night, but you’ll have to use something else. How about the one where you look for her in every room of the house, but she’s not there?”
The brothers nod and highfive. The 15-year-old brother then walks into the kitchen, he says, "Oh. MOM. I was hoping you'd be here, I had an awful dream last night... it was the one where I looked all over the house for you, but couldn't find you... it was AWFUL... all I remember feeling is I just couldn't find you..."
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