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Archive for September 26th, 2009

A Mind of His Own

With life just begun, my sleeping new son
Has eyes that roll back in his head
They flutter and dart, he slows down his heart
And pictures a world past his bed
Its hard to believe
As I watch you breathe
Your mind drifts and weaves

– When He Dreams by the Barenaked Ladies

The first time I heard this song, I was running through Kinder Park pushing my sleeping five month old son in his stroller.  Maybe it was the hormones still coursing through my body, but it touched me that day.  Suddenly, I183 realized that this child, who I knew so well, already had a mind of his own – a part of himself that he didn’t have to share with me.  And I wanted to know – what did he dream about?

As I ran, I thought about the times I had asked my other children about their dreams. My oldest son insists he doesn’t dream and my daughter has always held tight to her thoughts and dreams.   The times she does share feel like rare gifts that I should treasure because it isn’t guaranteed to happen again.

Zane is different.  At three, he is my most verbal child.  He is always talking – to me, to his dad, to his siblings, and even his matchbox cars.  He never stops.  For this I am grateful.  It allows me to see into that place he doesn’t have to share.

When he wakes in the morning his dreams tumble freely from his little mouth.  Sometimes, because he thinks his dream was real, he wakes up and runs to the window, lifting the shade and sighing in disappointment, “I thought the train would still be there.”  Or he searches his covers for a treasure he must have been playing with in his dreams.

On other mornings, he will wake up talking about something like dinosaurs or panda bears or colors that floated through his mind.  He hasn’t developed the filter that will hide his thoughts and dreams from me in the future.

With the age difference in my children, I have been given a special insight.  I know what will happen as he gets older.  I know that he will want to establish his own identity and to do that, he will withhold parts of himself.  I have been able to see this happen with my older children without warning.  With the knowledge comes an appreciation I didn’t have the first time around.

When they were newborns, I held their naked little bodies and looked at every inch.  I would sit in the rocking chair feeding them, taking in the curve of their ears, the shape of their fingers, the lines on their palms and tiny feet.  When they were newborns, I knew everything about them.  I don’t know when this changed, I suppose it was gradual. There is a part of me that hopes I caused it to happen and can avoid the same mistake this time.

Because Zane is the last of our babies, I find myself holding on to him tighter – trying to keep him from growing too fast.  To his chagrin, I still refer to him as my baby.  But, I know he is changing and growing.  He reminds me every day with a very clear, “I am a big boy.”  And, I have noticed, there are more mornings these days when I am left to wonder, what does he dream about?

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