Nightmares.


I woke up this morning from a truly horrible dream, the latest and most horrifying in a stream of everyone-I-love-is-going-to-die dreams. In my dream, I’d gone out for the evening to see a movie. I don’t know where Michael was in all this, but for some reason I had to get a babysitter. The dream started with me coming home, saying hello to the sitter, and walking through my (strangely large) house looking for Connor. I couldn’t find him. I kept hearing his voice from somewhere far away, but when I called him to come out, he would reply with the most heart-wrenching “no, I can’t” I have ever heard. I finally asked the sitter where he was hiding and she broke down, explaining that “somehow” she had hit him with her enormous SUV and… The rest of the dream was some awful amalgamation of scenes wherein I was trying to locate my son’s body, sobbing and calling the hospital and running to friends’ houses. In one of these scenes, I walked back into the house and just collapsed facedown on the floor, crying so hard I thought I’d split in two, wishing I could find and punch the babysitter, aching to hold my child.

When you wake up at 5:30 with a sopping pillow and a searing, burning ache in your chest, you kind of assume it is not going to be a good day. I was up long before Connor and snuck into his room to make sure he was breathing, dropping my exhausted head onto his pillow and just inhaling the scent of his shampoo and sleepy sweat. Then I went to make the first of the two pots of coffee I ended up drinking before 10:00 this morning. That was, bar none, the worst dream I have ever had. I thought the dream I had last week, in which I was arranging Michael’s funeral to be held in my great-grandmother’s garden, was the worst dream ever. Let me assure you that while that one was bad, this one was infinitely worse.

So. I made coffee, checked email, read TMZ (shut up, I needed a distraction), and drank coffee. Then I decided to make Connor a treat for breakfast, so I busted out some leftover sugar cookie dough, dyed it red, and baked heart-shaped sugar cookies for my two-year-old’s breakfast. Kids of the world, take notice: All the sugar, fat, and lack of nutrients in the world is yours for the asking when your mother has a nightmare about your untimely death. I brushed my hair and threw on some sweats while the cookies were baking, went out into the (freezing, ungodly) cold for a cigarette, and waited anxiously for Connor to wake up.

And waited. Aaaaand waited. Of course, this was the morning he picked to sleep until 9:00. By the time he woke up, I had finished a pot and a half of coffee, eaten two cookies, and managed to mostly calm myself down. I changed his diaper, fed him, and then — completely out of patience — pulled him into my lap for the longest hug I have ever given anyone. The worst part of that dream was just not being able to hold him, knowing I’d never, ever feel his sturdy little self against my chest. The hug went a long way toward restoring my sanity, thankfully, so now he is playing in his room and I am planning our day.

Thanks to my mom, we have a little money to spend. I’m thinking McDonald’s, so that Connor can play in the enclosed and heated playground and I can listen to him laugh and panic a little every time he jumps too high or tries to go down a slide headfirst. I have a little bit of Mommy guilt over this — cookies for breakfast and McDonald’s for lunch, what will the Mom Police say! On the other hand, a day of bad nutrition is totally worth it to get out of the house and have a bright, happy day with my wonderful son. We might even go to Wal-Mart and pick out new books. This day started out so, so terribly; I just want to spend the rest of it as happy and close to my son as possible. And I’m sure that, in a year or two, I’ll feel safe enough to go out without him again. All will be well.

Man, these last two entries have been depressing, huh? I’ll try to do better tomorrow — maybe once we have all the fun in the world this afternoon, I will be in a better frame of mind. After all, we’re getting out of the house today! I cannot contain my excitement.

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