Lilly is my sensitive girl. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I’ll blindly find the worn path to her room as she cries in the night. I know she isn’t really there. Her eyes hold no understanding of who I am or where we are. Then she’ll talk, sometimes yell. She will say things that don’t make sense unless I think back on the day and conversations before. I’ll piece together her dreams and then I’ll ask God to smooth away the fear. Calling a babysitter by the wrong name, monsters in the closet, looking out for Willow: her nightmares are those of the most innocent. Her shaky little body will look so small as I try to hypnotize her with my words back into sleep. Again I pray that God will bring the good dreams, the ones with baby animals, cotton candy and sparkle fingernail polish. At 7:30am, Lilly will emerge from her room with blanky and teddy beside her. She will give a sweet smile and I’ll get my morning hug. The battle fought in the night will not even be a memory. I thank God for that.
Willow is my clever girl. Dumping out the dress up bin until she finds the cape and shield, she brings it to me to put on her. As the velcro barely holds on, Willow runs through the house smiling a toothy grin at the humans she passes. I call out from my mom task, “Super Willow!” and she’ll fly in and pretend battle with my poor excuse for a laser noise. When she is tired of that, she will take the cape and shield off and leave it where her mind has decided to change gears. With another rummage through the dress up bin, she emerges with a massive hula skirt dragging behind her. I use clips to get it to stay on and then push the button for the music box that has been sewn on the inside. A cheesy island tune fills the kid scented air. Her hips are only delayed a moment by her little laugh and huge grin. She holds onto the skirt, like Urkel holds onto his suspenders, and she dances until the music stops. Then, she is into the bin again….
I am reminded that with age comes understanding. With understanding, out comes the monsters. Hoping I choose the path to dress up like the monsters and dance but knowing that they might enter my dreams.