Both of my kids have nightmares. I don’t know why. I suppose everyone has them. The three-year old’s aren’t quite as bad as his older brother’s, but they’re still quite traumatic for him.
The other night, he comes running in to our bedroom, shouting “I had a mean dream! I had a mean dream!”
I catch him and give him a hug. He cries into my shoulder for a few minutes, and then I help him climb into bed with us. With me lying on my back, he crawls across my belly to lie next to me with his head on my arm. His mom, seeing that I have him, rolls over and goes back to sleep.
I look at the little guy, who is staring at the ceiling. “What was the dream about?”
He describes it in detail. Really scary stuff – flying pieces of paper that cut people, guns firing from out of nowhere, mean dogs… It could have been a John Woo movie.
As he talks about it, he starts to relax. I joke about parts of the dream, things that seem silly or ridiculous, and pretty soon he’s smiling about it too.
After a few moments, he starts telling me about his classmates, talking about people that are a big part of his life, but who I only have seen once or twice. As we chat, he slowly runs out of energy, and falls asleep.
On the other side of him, his mother is snoring peacefully.
It might have been a bad dream, but it sure made for a great night.