Monkey woke me up last night when she had a nightmare. It was, I dunno, around 2 am. When I heard her feet shuffling in (and felt the cat scatter away from her sleeping spot) I figured it was Little Man, but no, it was Monkey. She asked if I’d get into bed with her and since it’s been a long time since she’d asked, I said OK. But just for a little while. My kidneys tend to get bruised when we actually sleep in the same bed. I’m still recovering from our week of visiting family.
Anyway, it got me to thinking. What do children have nightmares about? Not enough cake at the birthday party so they don’t get a slice? A bully at school? I never ask Monkey what her nightmares are because I don’t want them to linger in her mind any more than they already do. And remembering dreams is so difficult anyway.
But, still, I wonder.
She’s in a stable home, she has loving parents, clothes, food, toys out the wazoo, a pesky brother. From my perspective, anyway, her life seems pretty good, so what would she have to be afraid of? I’m not naive enough to think that all children are this lucky. I’m know that there are children all over this world that have legitimate nightmares and may possibly be living those nightmares out. That is terrible and a whole other topic. It’s not my intent to travel down that road first thing this morning.
I remember having nightmares as a kid. I had a recurring one that was, in hindsight more strange than scary, and had to do with being stuck on the furniture because the floor was hot lava with some big monster chasing me and I had to jump from couch to chair to steamer trunk to get away. Yes, I was a creative child.
Monkey is a creative child, too. So what does her vivid imagination create for her at night that scares her? I don’t know, but I’m glad she still comes to get me.