I’m feeling eloquent, so I decided to write this post in advance.
I’m sitting on a comfy armchair, listening to music, outside under our porch. It’s the middle of the night, and cold. I’m barefoot (always) and wearing denim shorts, paired with one of my dad’s ancient, ratty old jumpers I saved from being thrown away.
This afternoon (I’m still unintentionally having very long lie-ins) I had a dream, and woke up feeling so broody that if I saw a baby I probably would have oohed and aahed, begging to hold it.
This, I assure you, is very out of character for me. I normally avoid babies like the plague.
(Yes, I’m that person at family gatherings, the one who thrusts the screaming baby back at the parent, saying ‘I didn’t do anything!!!’)
I dreamed I was a babysitter for this stuck up aristocrat with a snobbish teenage daughter. She had a son (the aristocrat, not the teenager) that I had to look after.
The world had been told there were natural disasters coming, a tsunami in our town’s case. So under the pretence of going out shopping, the aristocrat and her snob of a daughter ran for the hills, leaving me with her son.
The boy was sad, a shy and decidedly unspoilt child. With no one else around, he attached himself to me like a limpet. He spent almost all of the time in my lap or at my side. (He was about seven, by the way).
So, stuck with a child I admittedly loved like my own, I went to my brother for help. After I found him, we all went to the beach together. I think I was trying to distract the little boy from the fact his mother had done a runner.
There was a strange swell in the sea. One minute, it was calm as a lake, the next, it was rushing into shore at lightning speed. Me, my brother and the boy ran for the dunes.
While we were climbing up the dunes, my brother changed into someone I didn’t know from the waking world, into a (still male) friend from that world.
The boy slipped, and I was holding onto him, yelling for my friend. He came back and hauled us both up onto the dunes, where if I remember correctly, we shared a kiss, a group hug, and then got out of there.
I woke up yearning for the feel of the little boy in my lap, my hand resting on his head.
The first thing I did was lunge for my stuffed toy dog, a gift from years ago, trying to recreate the feeling of the boy.
It’s not unusual for me to get body dysmorphia after my dreams, and very often I miss the families I have in them. Sometimes my dreams span out over a period of sixteen years or more, and I live entire lifetimes. Needless to say, it’s often painful for me to wake up.
This was one such time.
But what I’m really here to say is, in a rare moment of clarity, I’m glad I had that dream. Because it has given me hope, and woken up a dream I’ve always unknowingly had.
One day, I might be a mother, be someone’s lover, and own a life I’m proud of.
I don’t want much out of life. I know I can achieve the dream I truly want.
All I want is someone who loves me, who I love back. The rest can then come easy. I would like to travel, sing songs around a campfire, see the world. I’d like to have a child and watch it grow up.
I once asked my mother if she could picture me as a parent. She said something along the lines of:
“You can’t look after yourself, how are you going to look after anyone else?”
In truth I could ask the same of her.
Things are bad now, I will admit, and there is really nothing I can do to change that. But as soon as I get the chance, I’m going to seize life with both hands, and I will live it. No matter what anyone says.