I had to laugh off my dream.
(since when did life ever turn out like you dreamed it would anyway)? But that's not really what I'm talking about here.
I was laying there, fading into the cold, dark, miserable, sleeting January night with warm, peaceful, delicious beach-y thoughts. Dreaming about the waves crashing, the sun shining, and the powdery sand in between my toes. Falling so sweetly into sleepy-land, when one of my little's faint voices came out of the shadows. "Momma, I can't really sleep.." It was my boy-child. My 9-year old. He's never been much of a sleeper. And I can't believe I just typed "9-year old." Where did the last decade go?
"I need lay-time, I think." he whispered. Lay-time is when I crawl in bed with them and tell a story or tickle their arm, remind them of how special they are. But now that he's getting older, often he is the one who wants to talk. In this case, it was about a few students in his class who've not been acting great, and, as such, the entire class is being punished.
"It's really not fair, mom." he uttered. (when did he start calling me just 'mom'?) "I didn't do anything wrong," he said firmly.
I had to agree that life is not fair. It's just not. In about 20 seconds my mind went something like this: people are born and then they die. And in between, come thousands of instances that aren't fair: terminally-ill children, abuse, heartbreak, war, hatred, divorce, death. Not fair. Even much simpler, the days you get all the red lights, or someone else gets the opportunity you don't. On and on...
But I decided not to share such thoughts. I just said I understood and said how 'bout I tickle his arm to help him fall asleep. He said OK. Then I said, "try to think happy thoughts as you fall asleep, sweet boy."
"YES!" he cried. "Like that maybe tomorrow or Friday will be a SNOW day. Momma, (back to momma now) think of it - the powdery white, soft snow. It feels so cold and fresh outside! Snow angels! My sister and I get along for the day! Hot chocolate! No cars in the street and we can sled ALLLLL DAYYYYY!"
I just had to laugh!
Dreams of a snowy winter..
..dreams of a sunshin-y beach.
Whatever the trick. Whatever works.
Either way, I think to myself, the next day we'll wake up to whatever reality is presented. The goodness, the beauty, the joy, right alongside the confusion, uncertainly, and anxiety over life and over things unfair. Waking up fully alive. Showing up for the day and the people we love.
It's hard sometimes to wake up fully alive, to show up for the day and for the people we love and want in our lives. And yet waking up is exactly the thing I'm thankful for, as I crawl back in and dream of warmer days.