Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bump in the Night

I'm a little worried about Tarzan. He's been really fretful and anxious lately, which is not at all like him. (Although, I need to be careful about characterizing what is "like him" because he, like the other two, is growing and changing all the time.) Ever since the sleepover-that-wasn't, he's had a little trouble sleeping without being snuggled. And when I went away with Scooby, it really intensified. He had a tummy-ache at Granny's, and "bad pictures in his head" and the next night, home with Daddy, he freaked out and cried for four hours, saying he missed Mommy. And, he wrote me this:

Which is very sweet, but breaks my heart!!! (That's Tarzan, in the blue, sitting at the kitchen table, and that's me in the red, toasting waffles.)
He says he saw a book in the library. A scary book, with a scary alien on the cover. And now, he imagines, this scary alien is going to nail him to a wall. Yeesh.
Some of it is his age, I know. Scooby went through the same thing at this age. I vividly remember my dreams of a pirate ship sailing through the Leaver's woods towards our house, bound for pillage and destruction, and I'm pretty sure I was about the same age then. So I'm trying to be patient, and wait for it to pass.
Of course, those thoughts always go through my head. You know, THOSE thoughts. About what may have happened at this sleepover? But I don't think anything did, other than his imagination slipping into another gear.
THOSE thoughts are the things that sneak into my head on a regular basis and are promptly shooshed and squashed down. "What if the school bus driver just never brings them home?" "What if some bully corners them in the school bathroom?" "What if this birthday party is all a ruse for a pedophiliac sex group?" Unfounded and without basis - and all part of the fear of letting them go, little by little. THOSE thoughts aren't allowed to gain purchase on any part of my mind. But I can't refuse them entry. Some day, they may be telling the truth.
But, this has taken a morbid turn. Tarzan is going to be fine. The alien picture will eventually fade, and new fears will take it's place. He has two birthday parties this week, a Dinosaur play in class on Friday, and a field trip next week. He'll get distracted. He'll move on. In the meantime, I'll hold him a little tighter, kiss him a little more, and read him happy stories about pirate ships. (Hey, that was my nightmare; not his.)


J and M said...

I remember having really horrific dreams at about that age (and older). I had one recurring one many many times. I was at my father's house on a (very small) island connected to the mainland by a foot bridge. After the footbridge was about a hundred feet of gravel path, and then 34 granite steps going up to the road. In my dreams, I'd be watching through the window as a man came down the stairs, but it looked like he was wearing stilts, but they were really his legs (much like those strange Salvador Dali paintings where the animals have legs that are ridiculously elongated). He would start off clumsily, then start moving down the stairs with preternatural and creepy fast-forward speed, hitting each individual step with a strange clop, covering all the stairs in a couple of seconds. He was coming to kill me, but he moved too fast for me to get out of the way. I'd watch helplessly as he raced towards me, unable to move or scream. Just before he got to the door, I'd wake up.

Melissa said...

Yeah. I had a recurring dream that I would go downstairs to the basement, having heard something. When I got there, I realized that there were barrels of guns sticking through the walls pointing at me from all directions...Not really sure what, if anything happened next. There was another recurring dream which had no plot - just a techno kind of pulsating deep sound, and a rolling, spinning sensation, building to total terror and waking up panting. And then, of course, there were the horrible leg pains i used to get...It's a wonder I slept at all...