Candy Everybody Wants

Dreams are strange, right? Do you have crazy dreams? Some nights I do…like the other night when I dreamed my husband and I were going to see a 10,000 Maniacs concert–you know, back in the day when Natalie Merchant was singing? I was really excited, mainly because I love their Our Time In Eden release. It’s one of my favorite albums of all time. I love all the Biblical allusions (in fact, I wrote several papers on Biblical allusions in popular music during my critical writing career).

As we sat in the seats in the theater, people began handing us costumes to put on over our clothing and ushered us to the stage to perform.


I showed up to enjoy a concert. Where is Natalie Merchant? I was already happily singing away to this:

and looking forward to hearing this:

Wasn’t gonna happen.

We followed the directions of an older actress with dark hair and distinct features. We went up on stage, where we improvised the best we could to what must have been an empty theater. Only the director and the lighting supervisor were in the back up in that little box where they always sit (I’m sure there is some theater word for it I should know…).

I was grateful to wake up…and to move on from the craziness…while part of me longed for the adventure of performing and being a part of a production.

(What do you think it means?)

Guess I’ll just turn on some 10,000 Maniacs and see what adventures are about to happen….


“You were my new dream.”

I woke up in the early morning last week, when the house was quiet. As I lay there, sandwiched between covers of cotton and down, I thought about dreams…not the kind that were evading me at the moment, but dreams of life and love and achievement.

Remember the moment in Tangled when Eugene is about to die and he utters these words to Rapunzel: “You were my new dream.”…?

She gently and ever-so-quietly replies, “And you were mine.”

In my marriage, my husband is my new dream every day. As we have changed together over the past several years, we have created new dreams that always include each other. I do not think of life without him. He is my new dream…and each day that we wake up together, we get to know each other–in whatever forms that day may bring.

What is your dream? Does it change? Does it include anyone special?

Sending you love as we begin this Valentine’s Week here on MiddleofMyStory! xoxoxo

I Dreamed a Dream (six months ago)

No, not like Fantine.¬† Though I did (obviously, like the Academy) find Anne Hathaway’s rendition powerful and moving.

I’m talking about the REM sleep kind of dream.¬† You know, like the ones you have at night when you are (hopefully) sleeping?¬† Well, this one was actually during the morning, and I actually thought about fictionalizing the dream itself because it was so bizarre (…like I think of myself as a peaceful type of person, and this dream was really crazy…) that I didn’t want to admit all day yesterday that this is what played out when my subconscious took over for a few minutes (and the dream literally occurred in minutes, between my 5 a.m. alarm and my 6 a.m. alarm).¬† Read on (but only if you are brave…or if you want to take a guess at interpretation…or if you would like to know how crazy I felt all day yesterday).

We were selling our house, and as such, we had several realtors coming to visit.¬† Many of them rode together in nice, black cars (think newer Lincoln Town Cars) and approached our home in groups.¬† All were women of varied hair color, mostly middle-aged, and professionally dressed.¬† One insulted my work as a “stay-at-home mother” by snickering that I would have other items to attend to during a given day that I wouldn’t be able to drop everything and help them with whatever they needed to sell this house.

The scene changed to a lavishly set dining room (mine?) with a large banquet, complete with some level of servants (and an elevator?), where a beautiful woman about my age with dark hair and gentle eyes wearing a white gown (think Fairy Godmother…or maybe the wedding dress from Enchanted) looks at me, and I know what these realtor women are–witches–and what I must do–kill them.

Let me insert here that I have never killed anything on purpose (except roaches, ants, and a few spiders…and there was that baby lizard one time…I stepped on his tail on the way in from high school classes one day who moved when I stepped, and it died…and that experience brought me to tears because I couldn’t believe I had killed it).¬† And, I don’t remember ever killing anyone or anything before in a dream, but I digress….

So, I know somehow that to kill these witches, I must force their hands to hold their own throats (I feel like I’m acting in a low-budget mini-series at this point…and I haven’t watched television for years), which will cause some type of chemical reaction¬†(the skin on skin contact at that location produces smoke, or steam, or something smokey/steamy) and ends their lives (what?).¬† Fairy Godmother Lady is there supporting me, but I must do the deeds.

I begin by hurling large, heavy, (expensive) China dishes toward their throats, but my aim is sadly off target.¬† Then, I switch to good, old-fashioned, hand-to-hand combat, where I place my hand on one’s neck and as she reaches for my hand to have me release the grip, I switch her hand to be under mine and on her own throat while holding it in place by replacing my hand.

Is this gruesome for anyone else?

Top it off with echoes of these lovely images pulsating through my brain all day yesterday and you will know how happy my Monday began.


Upon Waking

In my dream two nights ago, I was preparing for a severe storm.¬† Apparently, we lived in a ginormous house, and I was on the telephone and iPad (coordinating with¬†people who may need to come visit and stay in the basement of said ginormous house) when I received a phone call from my sister.¬†We chatted while I worked; then, suddenly, alarm filled her voice as she said, “Your little guy is choking!” (He was staying with her for some reason, I’m guessing.) We got off the phone, and I continued my preparations for the storm. I was trying to get a weather report on¬†the iPad (but was having connection trouble) when my phone rang again.¬† My sister’s voice on the other end simply said, “He’s dead.”

In that moment, (trying to assure her…or maybe even myself…?) I said, “It’s okay.¬†I just spent the most wonderful day with him yesterday.” My mind flashed back to moments of cuddles and stories and laughter and happiness of the prior day, and I truly did feel relief that, were he dead, he died knowing his mother loved him and had done all she knew to care for him.

Upon waking, of course a bit of alarm set in, and I removed my covers as my feet carried me, almost without thinking, to his room.¬†I reached for the spot on his back where his Batman pajama shirt had lifted and exposed a tiny stripe of skin above his waistline. I touched it and waited for my hand to rise and fall with his breath. As my hand moved up and down in time with his¬†diaphragm’s expansion and contraction, I took a breath myself for the first time in several moments.

I proceeded to find all of my little people, alive and well, breathing the slow, heavy breath of sleep, of dreams. I fell to my knees in the last one’s room to offer up thanks for sparing their lives each day so that I can have the privilege of more sweet moments with them.

My feet then returned me toward my bedroom. As I walked through the kitchen, the microwave clock read a scarlet 2:38. Lifting my covers, I returned to bed but not to sleep. I lay pondering the day, wondering that if–or when–that phone call ever came to me, would I be able to respond with the same feeling of relief embodied in my dream–that our last moments together were blissful, peaceful, loving, happy? Would my children leave this frail existence knowing that their mother loved them? I was determined to work on sharing the love of my heart with them more readily and worry less about the little irritations and fatigue that so easily beset me. I was determined to complain less and love more, to fuss less and laugh more, to worry less and sing more.

Will you join me?


Livin’ the Dream

Several weeks ago, I had occasion to speak to a gentleman with whom I was not well acquainted.¬† He kindly inquired about the activities of¬†my days, and I responded with the usual, “Well, I am home with our preschooler…we bake cookies and build trains and read stories….”¬† My voice tapered off as I wondered in a way what my days contained, searching for some type of meaning in the repetition.¬† My mind raced to pull¬†out from somewhere, “Well, I write, when I have time,” or “I’m thinking about going back to school,” but nothing rendered satisfactory.

In the instant of my deflating thoughts, he looked into my eyes and said, “Well, you’re living the dream, aren’t you?”

I stared incredulously back toward him, startled, and thought, Whose dream am I living?

I thought back to college and dreams of being a writer or a professor of English lit or comp or even creative writing…I thought of high school, when I wanted to move far, far away (Paris, maybe? or at least Provo)¬†and study interior design or something artistic…I thought back to junior high, when I had dreams of being a dermatologist…I thought back to grade school, and I couldn’t even remember what I wanted to be then.¬† But the dream that¬†was consistent throughout those other dreams which have come and gone over the years was the dream of being married¬†and having children.

Throughout the next several days, kneeling over train tracks and stirring flour, eggs and vanilla into sugar and butter, his words continued to echo in my ears.¬† As¬†I’ve meandered through¬†memories of¬†holding¬†hair back for my daughter who was throwing up, or my husband pulling back my¬†own hair¬†through morning sickness, I’ve wandered through laughter¬†and leaf fights, through rolling down hills and rolling through years; I’ve walked¬†paths of sorrow and paths of joy…days when I couldn’t walk another step and someone lifted my burden.¬† I know¬†life hasn’t been picture-perfect (no one’s is), but it has been mine.¬† And as I strolled on through more memories than I can share, I felt his words,¬†“You’re living the dream.”

My husband reached over for my hand this morning, and my little one climbed onto my lap for a cuddle.¬† “You’re beautiful,” his tiny voice and big eyes said to me as he rested against my thin frame.¬† In that moment, I knew the answer to my question.

Whose dream am I living…?


(Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography)