Reframing nightmares.

A six year old houseguest of ours walked into the kitchen clutching her newly built lego dragon that slept alongside her last night.  I knelt down to say hello only to learn that her night hung thick with the dark cloud of a nightmare.  A fear filled awe filled the space in between us, as she explained her dreams with big, wide eyes and not a hint of a smile.

I listened to the play-by-play, which honestly, was kinda boring the way other people’s dreams usually are.  While I nodded in understanding, I pondered the juxtaposition of her fear with my experience of her very passionate relay.  From my seat, there was obviously nothing to truly fear.  It was a dream, one.  And two, it was actually kinda funny when you hear it in the morning.  But, not to her.  To her, it was very, very real, and I felt for her.  And, I understood that trap.

Inspiration struck, and once she finished with the flourish of the monster locking her friend in the bathroom, I asked her what she would do if she could return to her dream right now.  She immediately said she’d punch the monster.  I saw her eyes perk up, so I kept going.  Then what would you do?  She’d run out the side door into the town and tell everyone.  Great idea!  Then what?  I’d go back with the police and find my friend, then we’d all throw a party!  Hooray!

With that, she was over it.  She and her lego dragon bounced out of the room and into the rest of her day.

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5 comments


  • Sandy

    Everyone needs to have an ear like yours that’s so closely connected to their heart. Well done Chickapee.

    October 23, 2015
    • Molly Chester

      Thanks mom! :)

      October 25, 2015
  • Dad

    Reminds of a special little girl at age 2 that would awaken thinking she had not been asleep. After reassuring her that she, indeed, had been sleeping for an hour she replied “Oh!” and immediately fell back asleep. It went on nightly for a few months and then it disappeared never to be felt again. Listening is all that is needed. You did well.

    October 26, 2015
  • Jason

    Cute. I rarely remember my dreams anymore. In my childhood I had very vivid dreams. Now they’re gone by the time I awaken.

    December 15, 2015
  • Kathy

    I’m glad your posting again and congrats on your boy,

    Having 11 nieces and nephews that are constantly telling me the play by play on you handled that superbly.

    Also, she has a very clear plan with handling the monster. Kudos to her for her game plan.

    December 17, 2015

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