My kids love to tell me about their dreams. They can remember their dreams in great detail, every weird random endless droning detail, and they don’t hesitate to share this all with me. Some people — including adults — like to tell others about their dreams, regardless of the subject matter. They just find dreams interesting.
I’m not that person.
What I’ve discovered is that there are some dreams that DO interest me, usually ones that have an element of revelation in them. I’ve thought about whether God uses dreams, like the dream Joseph had about staying with Mary, the message delivered by an angel. Or the dream Jacob had about the stairway to heaven that angels were travelling on. These are the exceptions to regular dreams, the ones where you can’t find your car keys or you’re in a traffic jam. But even recently I heard a story about someone who was travelling internationally and received a message in a dream, one that told him to wake up. When he obeyed and woke up (in the middle of the night), he was able to stop a thief who was in the midst of stealing from his nightstand.
When I was a student, I had a recurring dream that there was a party going on in my room while I was trying to study. This dream only happened when I was stressed and busy. It meant I would wake up tired, stressed and busy even after doing what supposed to replenish my body and mind.
In recent years, however, I remember very few of my dreams.
My sister has had a few dreams about our dad since he passed away two years ago.
I’m pretty envious of her. I’ve only had two.
The thing with dreams of someone you love is that your brain knows you’re dreaming, even while you’re trying to shut it up so you can enjoy the unexpected opportunity to visit with him. You know it isn’t real, but you don’t want to know that, since dreams are supposed to be a break from reality, aren’t they? I mean, dreams are supposed to be places were we can do anything we want. Why burden them with a reality check when we’re supposed to be busy flying around or doing things we could never do in real life.
I was taught to control my dreams. When I had a bad dream, my parents told me to make the scary thing (often a bear, now that I think of it) give me a present.
I’ve taken this and expanded on it for my kids. We’ve talked to them about turning the thing into a bubble and then pop it, turn it into a dandelion and blow it away, or even shrink it until it’s attempts to be scary become laughable.
What I haven’t tried is to focus on being able to make something happen in my dreams. I don’t think I have the courage to try and see my dad in my dreams. I want to preserve true memories I have of him, and I wonder if dreaming about him will introduce an un-real memory of him. I’ve already incorporated one of my sister’s dreams into my own memory banks, probably because the dream gave me comfort even as it was bittersweet.
I want to have real memories, and I want these to be separate from my dreams.