I looked at the calendar today, counting the days. Has it only been three weeks? How is that possible?
Last night was another one.
A dream. One of those.
Those really really good dreams, but the kind that you wake up from feeling so sad. The kind you don’t want to wake up from, because they are perfect. The kind that you know were never meant to be.
Some nights the dreams are my life as if nothing had happened three weeks ago. I am still pregnant in that world, womb swelling along with my ankles. Kicks getting stronger, life seeming right. I would be almost 22 weeks now, and these dreams are all about us discussing how strange and wonderful it is to be buying things for a girl for the first time. Look at these beautiful things, how did we get so blessed? We entwine hands as we talk about how connected we feel when my husband feels her kick. How happy we are that my morning (all day) sickness finally subsided. We wonder if she will have my dimples and dark hair, or if she will have major curls like daddy, and visions of Mabel dance in my head.
But something did happen 3 weeks ago, and Mabel was born way too early on January 8th, the same day as my dear friend Steph. I know that it was the perfect day, because Mabel and Steph already have a magical relationship, and they wait to meet someday too. They already love each other.
And just as real as those pregnant dreams are, there are the other ones that are almost more real. The ones where the birth was different. Mabel was born, but she was fine. Tomorrow Mabel would be three weeks, so these dreams are about how I nurse her, have her with me every second. How her brothers are so in love with her tiny perfection and how I don’t mind it when she wakes up all night. How I get to use pretty girly burp clothes — just because. How I wrap her in pink and we all laugh that I am embracing the girl side of myself finally.
Truth be told, sometimes these dreams happen when I’m awake. I have always been a day dreamer, seeing stories in my head that I want to write about, or stories that are just there. To entertain, to create, or just to have and keep in my head for a rainy day. This habit hasn’t stopped now. Sometimes day dreaming like this is beautiful and healing, other times it’s a ticket for a runaway train.
I like to think about Mabel often, but I also want to protect myself from falling into the darkness. That runaway train is heading straight for the ocean, and is driven by the Despair that whispers to me. Evil dripping from it’s tongue, Despair tempts me, telling me how comfortable it would be to just sink in, let go, give up, and let the ocean wash me away…
I wrap up those thoughts, brown paper, neatly folded, bundles of thoughts that need not be in my head. I tie the bundles tightly with special unbreakable string and throw the bundles out into that giant ocean. The big huge abyss takes those bundle-thoughts away, instead of taking me. And I thank God again for teaching me how to endure.
This process is taking time and effort and OH how clueless I feel.
In the dreams I hear a voice, “just don’t look down“.
At first I didn’t know what it meant.
But as I endure and pray and raise my hands and heart and eyes on things Above, I understand.
Don’t look down. Look Up.