Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Overcoming Fears, Or Ignoring Them All Together

Now that they have their own rooms, our kids come spilling into our room early every morning. They used to sleep with us when they were little and then gradually worked their way out into a shared room, with a double mattress on the floor, graduating to bunk-beds and then into a room of their own for each of them.

At some point before 7:00 or so, they come in and cuddle with me making a mom sandwich. It's nice really. It's a very sweet, pleasant way to start the day. The kids gradually becoming more and more awake, all of us talking about what's coming ahead in the day, the kids charging downstairs to watch a movie, alternating whose turn it is to pick every day.

This morning my daughter came in with very sad eyes after having had a bad dream. She had dreamed that we were at a hotel somewhere and there was a fire where we had to hurry to gather up our things and when she woke up she wasn't sure if we survived the fire or not--she didn't know how it turned out. She felt that maybe the dream continues and since she didn't see us reach safety, maybe we didn't. What an awful idea!

I cuddled her, stroked her forehead and her sobs turned to small whimpers as she and I talked and she told me all about it. We held each other until she felt OK enough to get up and start playing with her brother.

Later, as we were all doing various things in the house, she asked if she could start a fire in the fireplace--a thing she rarely does. Yes, she sure could.

I made sure the flue was open and then she laid small sticks directly above the metal rod with our gas starter, turned on the gas, lit the match and lit the burner. As the sticks caught fire, she asked which logs she should add next and then did when it was time.

The fire crackled away merrily as I saw her tending it and shoving a slender stick in it and taking it out to see its glowing end. She was happy and felt confident and able as she controlled it. I don't think she even thought of her bad dream from earlier. I don't think she made a conscious decision to face down the fire that had plagued her dream the night before. I think she just wasn't defeated by it. The bad dream had no residual effect and she could make a fire if she wanted to.


Idabel Oklahoma said...

Knew we liked you for a reason. We either have or are doing family sleeping. Isn't it kinda of a love hate thing. You love it that you have the big bed now without kids, but you hate it.. cause you have the big bed now without kids.

Laura said...

When we are all crowded in together, the bed is too small. With the kids gone, it is far too big.

We like it when they come and cuddle.

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