Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dreaming of Aiden

I have a confession to make.

For the last three and a half years, I have been dreaming.  Not day-dreams.  Night dreams.  Vivid, hard-to-pull-away-from dreams.

It started with dreaming about a tiny baby boy with soft blond fuzz on his head and ordinary blue eyes.  A softly rounded face, a perfect chin and a rose-bud mouth.  The first dream had no sound.

A few months later, I dreamt about a bigger baby boy.  More blond fuzz.  Blue eyes crinkling at the corners when he smiled.  A dimple in his left cheek.  A soft, warm, typical baby boy.

A few months later, I dreamt of him again.  He was sitting up, and would rock forward to his hands and knees and crawl.  I dreamt of him many nights in a row.  It was in these dreams that I started hearing sounds.  His gurgly laughter and his squeals.  My own voice, calling him Aiden.

A few months later, I watched him walk in my dream.  I called his name, and he toddled toward me.  And then he simply vanished.  I woke with tears in my eyes and a tight ache in my chest, and what seemed almost like left-over warmth in my arms.

I went over a year without dreaming of him at all.  I would have forgotten if I hadn't written it here, in posts I never published.

Then it went back to the intermittent, random dreams for about a year.  Lately, it's gotten more frequent.

In these dreams, I've watched him grow physically.  I've interacted with him.  And he's shown all the signs of a child without parents.  A child without attachments, without hope, without a home.  In my last dream, my husband and I went to see him in an orphanage.  He was there among beautiful babies.  A lanky 3.5 year old, laying in a bed with a blank face.  Large blue eyes with no expression, that dimpled left cheek and perfect chin.  Freckles splashed across his nose and cheeks.  His hair was sandy blond, coarse and cut shaggily.  We played with him, and at first he seemed so normal.  As the day (dream) progressed, he showed more and more of the signs, and my heart broke more and more.  This one had tears streaming when I awoke, and a heart that ached.  And the name of this made-up child rolling through my head.  Aiden.  It means little fire, in case you wondered.

I have no idea what it's all about.  None at all.  It's certainly not a wish of mine for ANY child to be that way - to hurt, and cry, and struggle, and grow to need intervention more desperately each day.  I have never intended to name any child of mine Aiden, so it's not a sub-conscious fulfillment of a name I fear I'll never get to use (trust me, I have those dreams too, but they aren't like this one).  I don't work with kids with attachment disorder anymore, so it's not a work life carry-over.  In fact, I have known two children with the disorder that were younger than age 8, ever.  They were both African, and I had no special feelings for them, so it's not because of THEM. 

Maybe it's frustrated maternal instinct.  Maybe I feel like my children (or the hopes I have for them and of them) are slipping away and  coming apart.  Maybe it's a real child that will some day come into our lives.  Maybe I'm just a weirdo who has a set of serial dreams that depict an accurate progression of time and development, that aren't based on anything at all.

Just curious.  I get a lot of good feed-back from you guys.  I'm curious what you all will have to say.  As always, if you want your comment/question to remain private, just say so and I won't hit "publish."

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1 comment:

Katie said...

Very interesting dreaming. I kind of think that it's about a future child of yours. I'm not sure that the orphanage is for sure where you'll meet him, though it seems a possiblity. Maybe it's more that a little guy will come into your life from an outside source needing your love and that you'll give him hope. The attachment disorder seems like a way to describe a very real physical thing that you've experienced with your little people. The babies had an attachment problem. Maybe Aiden gets over this "attachement" problem and he's the boy you'll carry. That would be really cool. Okay so this is all kind of a conscious stream thing... but I think you'll be seeing him along the way.