Night Time Rescues

My eyes spring open, they are hot. My eyeballs are actually hot. Or maybe burning, yeah, burning sounds about right. A quilt of darkness shadows the room and my hands instinctively go for the bedroom lamp.  Someone is screaming my name.

My heart begins pounding rapidly once that filmy layer of sleep slips off of my conscience. I listen to her shrieks as though they are the only sound I have or will ever hear. I fumble for some pants, a long shirt, something because my brain is telling me relentlessly that I must get to her immediately.

Jamie rolls over, “what’s wrong” he sees me struggling and I can see the panic and confusion setting in behind the sleepiness of his eyes.

“Sophie is screaming.” I say as I step out of the room. He is behind me within seconds.

We make it downstairs and our daughter is huddled under her blankets. She screams, “MOM!” and the urgency in her voice sends a shiver down my spine.

“Whats wrong baby?” I ask as I snug my body next to hers.

“I had a nightmare.” She says emerging from the protection of her blanket cocoon. She is sobbing and it makes even her words sound wet.

I glance at Jamie, go back to bed Hun, I say without saying anything at all. Everything is okay now. He leans over and kisses his daughter on the forehead.

I don’t ask what her dream was about, kid nightmares are typically the worst. Their imagination is still so unsullied and ripe, even their good dreams are scary as shit. Instead I wrap my arms around her and try to make her feel safe so sleep will come easy.

I really don’t want to fall asleep in her bed because Sophie may very well be the worst person to share a bed with in the entire universe. She kicks and moves and sometimes merely crawls directly on top of you because your body seems to work as a better mattress than the actual mattress.

So I will myself not to sleep. As an alternative I think about motherhood. I think about how seconds ago when my daughter was calling for me it was the only thing that could have mattered in that moment. I think about how the label, “mom” has become synonymous with day to day life but also a sentiment of caring that is far too profound to even try to begin to explain to the layperson.

I think about how the stresses of money and work and all of that day to day hullabaloo doesn’t begin to compare to how I felt in that instant when I didn’t know why my daughter was screaming in the dead of night.

I squeeze her a little tighter and hear her flush breathing of sleep. I slowly get up to leave when she sleepily wraps her arms around my neck and says, “I love you so much Mom. Thanks for rescuing me.”

I want to tell her that her and Lars have saved me, time and time again. Their existence is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced. I want to say that I love them beyond comprehensible logic. I want to tell her that our little family is mine and her Dad’s reason for fighting so hard in this life so of course I will rescue her.

However, I think that may be a bit overkill. Sleep is about to take her again soon so for now I reply with, “Any time my love, any time at all.”

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Dream It

It was less than a year ago when The Hot Wire was just a silly idea drifting in and out of two dreamer’s brains. But when dreams become reality; this is the stuff of magic. My husband and I are dreamers you see, we always have been. We sit up late, sometimes drinking beer and eating popcorn, and always talking about the things that may be one day. It is some of my favourite moments with him.

Do you know that feeling that comes over you when you just know that you are on your (and I really mean your) right path? I don’t know about you but it will start out as the faintest tingling in the very deep of my gut. A flood of positivity becomes my brain—waylaying the creatures who say I cannot achieve what I am setting out to do. They are left where they stand, ignored and forgotten–just as they should be. It is a strength that resides firmly in my chest. Said strength moves me to reach further, do better and try harder in achieving my goals. It is a resolve that is impossible to ignore.

And it is one of the very greatest feelings a human being can have.

Some people will live their life telling you to, “get your head out of the clouds” or to, “stop dreaming your life away.” I say NO! Absolutely do not remove your head from that mass of condensed water vapour floating in the atmosphere! Dream and imagine, write it all down and back it up! BACK IT UP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! Then, once you’ve got your game plan, once there is nothing left to imagine, go out and do. Be the dream because as impossible as it may seem sometimes, “there is always a way out” (that was a Doctor Who reference for all the laypeople out there).

Anyways, what I’m really trying to say is please, I beg of you, follow those beautiful, impractical, adventurous, tentative dreams.

There will be shitty, I mean REAL shitty days along the way. There are points in which I worry that we might fail. Maybe we will fail. Maybe we will fail at achieving this dream in this particular way. Perhaps we will have to pack up and begin again. We will have to look for the alternatives and brainstorm and inspire to be better. But that is just part of the game. That is the process. 

Whether you attain what you are looking for the very first shot or you must try over and over again until you get it right—I promise you, it will be worth it. To know that you had only a glimmering of an idea in your mind and to bring that minuscule thing to fruition is a true marvel. It is a striking thing to know you’ve achieved.  

The other day Jamie and I got this little note in our comment jar.

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I can’t really explain to you how much significance this piece of orange paper with words on it holds for me. It WAS me only a few months ago. It was us. Unsure of how to move forward but hopeful that there was something to move forward to.

Now there are so many moments where I find myself silently thanking the forces that be in assisting Jamie, Lars, Sophie and I in what has been our most crazy, uplifting, insane adventure yet. And we will keep on doing what we do. Despite the pit stops and the delays. We will find a way to keep moving on.

And my hope is, that the writer of this note along with anyone else who has ever had a dream can find the grit and guts to do the same.

The Nightmare That Was Christmas

IMG_0013I have never been one to ‘hate’ Christmas.

In complete reality I’d say I am pretty much an all-out all-star when it comes to this festive season. I drag out the cheerful decorations at an appropriate December 5th date- I am not one of the diehards that garnish my home with thousands of lights and blow-up Saint Nick paraphilia starting November 1st. No, I’m a class act broad and in turn keep my paper chains classy too.

I do my part in donating during the holidays to ensure everyone can enjoy in this jovial time of year. So you certainly can’t call me a scrooge. I’ve made celebratory preserve baskets to gift to people this year. I wrote my Christmas cards. I even enjoy the odd Christmas carol.

The point is I rock at Christmas. It is something I pride myself in- I’m actually good at it. So again I will dare to say, I have NEVER and NEVER will be one of those grumpy Gus’ whom hate Christmas time.

I just won’t do it.

***

I must be stuck in a goddamn lucid dream. This cannot be reality- there is a kitten in a top hat playing the piano in my mother’s basement. I am sitting on the floor cross-legged and juvenile admiring this tabby’s incredibly deft…paws?

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But it is not this sight or the fact that he plays Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer in perfect tenor on the baby grand that allows me to recognize that I am dreaming. No, it is the fact that my brother, Dustin, hangs upside-down and ominous in the far left hand corner of the room staring at me vehemently…Sort of like this: 

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To make matters worse he is humming Santa Clause is Coming to Town as he holds that stare. He drones the tune alarmingly well.

Alarmingly well.

What does he hang upon? You may be asking yourself at this time (because if you aren’t I’d be wondering what’s wrong with you). Well he is suspended by the shiny tinsel that mimics a string of web coming out of his bulbous rear end. My brother’s bottom half currently resembles that of an awfully decorated Christmas spider. There he is glowering. Humming his Christmas tune. Just glowering and humming.

I feel unnerved.

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I know this is a dream, I know it will end eventually. But I am unable to end it myself- I am trapped. The room flickers and before I know it there are green and red Christmas lights flashing all around me, reminiscent to a motherfucking Christmas disco scene. The two different songs coming at me (from the cat’s piano and my half-arachnid brother) are driving me mad and then the cat’s head begins to eerily turn to face me in a how-is-that-not-snapping-its-neck unnatural way.  

I hear something- someone making their way down the flight of stairs to my right. I try to yell out to them for help, or maybe to warn them not to enter into this room of holiday hell. The words are lost because as I open my mouth I am stunned into submission when 3 French hens come flapping out. I didn’t even know they were in there in the first place.  

What is happening?

Then 10 men who are dressed in fancy pantaloons liquefy through the walls and begin a unified ballet of sorts. They leap to and fro as if it is the one thing they had ever been meant to do. I am struck on the head THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP with five large and substantially heavy rings. But it isn’t until I hear the drums begin to wail in the stairwell that I realize I am living out the 12 days of Christmas.

‘Tis the season to be institutionalized.

I glance to my brother to see if he is seeing this all too. He is. And he is still a spider only now he has switched from Santa Claus Is Coming To Town to Feliz Navidad and he uses his hands to dance- inspiring a ‘festive’ sort of vibe.

WAKE UP!!!! I scream to myself but to no avail. I begin to panic more than a little because what if I am stuck in this insanity forever? What if this is my punishment for being so awesome at Christmas- to live in an eternal loop of yuletide shenanigans.

A woman in rags approaches me. 7 other women looking identical trail her and all of them hold a large sweating glass of milk in their hands. She leans in close to me, too close for comfort as I can taste the putrid hint of dairy all over her warm breath as it hits my nose.

She then begins to blurt out Jingle Bells- but with a sort of lisp and extremely off key.

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I shut my eyes tight and try to imagine a better place. An anti-Christmas place. I can’t take it anymore. The seizure inducing lights, the imposter family members, the scandalous excuse for a reproduction of The Twelve Days of Christmas- It is all absurdity!

Suddenly all goes quiet expect for the sounds of Jingle Bells being exhaled upon my tense façade. I open my eyes and there is Sophie and inch away from my sleep filled eyes. I am in my bedroom. Husband sleeps soundly next to me.

There is not a fucking Christmas Decoration as far as the eye can see.

And I realize it’s never too late to say, NEVER.

Dance Baby, Dance

When youngsters dream, they dream big. There is no journey too long, or aspiration too lofty; the mind is continuously revolving. With this youthful ambition, our children have the ability to accomplish greatness. It is our job as parents, to foster this beautiful acquaintance of hope and grow it into determination and purpose.

Today was one of those rare occasions when my Dad decided to open up to me. I was telling him about the poetry book I had just published, and how it has been a dream come true. He then revealed to me that when he was young, he had dreamed of being a marine biologist (working with whales) was how he put it. I had heard of this dream of his years before, but last time he told of it, it was ‘big cats’ that he dreamed of working with. Who knows old age may be kicking in, never-the-less ‘big animals’ is what we’re just going to chalk it up to.

Anyways, this dream was quickly put to rest by my Grandfather, his Dad, who told him that this delusion was the stupidest idea he had ever heard. There would be no money in it, and it was just plain dumb.

It was not the story that struck me, but the fleeting look that crossed my Dad’s dismal face just after.  And then without even a trace of fervour, he finalized our moment with, “And look what happened, I ended up a rig pig.”

My Dad is a very determined man, although in that moment he saw himself as just a ‘rig pig’ he has made a very successful career out of his work, something not to be diminished in a transitory sentence. Now filling the details in, I have no doubt that he would have succeeded in marine biology/lion taming, if only he had the support to follow his dreams.

Throughout my life, my parents have always been very supportive of my dreams. Although some fanciful  (and not always taken seriously) they always humored me. Shortly after the 1996 Movie ‘Twister’ came out; Me, a haughty ten year old was bound and determined that one day I too would chase down tornadoes in a mad attempt to find out about weather patterns. I still sometimes have an overpowering urge, to drive somewhat near (but not too near) a double-crossing cyclone of pure thrill.

Writing  has always been a constant in my life. I often wonder how my parents endured the countless hours of reading and re-reading short stories, poems, and oh the dreaded phase I went through when I thought I was the playwright! They strived through it though, and they did it with enthusiasm. My writing hasn’t brought me fame or fortune, and It more than likely never will, but scribbling down a few sentences a day has saved me from sadness many a time. It makes me happy, fulfilled even to know that I continue on a dream I’ve had for twenty years. It is my parents I have to thank for this, they always encouraged me to ‘Write till my heart’s content.’

Now that I have a Lars and Sophie of my own, I look very forward to the day when they come home from school after learning about some new and exciting exploit and say, ‘I want to be a…..’.

Lars loves dancing. Anytime my boy hears a beat, up goes his hands and arms flailing and thrusting in a hypnotic fashion, his body starts gyrating closely resembling a vertical spasm and his feet usually do an awkward stick to the floor thing while moving his legs in uncanny directions.  The poor boy has no rhythm and judging from the catastrophe that is my husband and I on the dance floor, he more than likely never will. I  by no means will ever  tell him to stop though. One- because it gives me something to laugh about, and two- more importantly, he loves it.  Whenever Sophie see’s her big brother dancing up a storm she joins right in. Unfortunately for her, I think he is teaching her his ‘moves’ everyday they boogie.

If my kids want to start a sister/brother dancing team, and introduce a new type of ‘interpretive’ dance to the world, I will be there in the front stands cheering them on the whole way- granted there are stands and cheering involved.  The point is, no matter how bizarre, I will be my kids biggest fan. Whether they like it or not.

With education and options, we can give these tot’s the confidence to bloom and flourish. I for one, will not be the one to crush my children’s dreams and then have them rueing over it 50 years later.  Until the day comes when they begin to conjure up imaginings of their own, I will dream about their  flourishing future…And maybe chase a few twisters in my off time.