I dreamt a surreal dream this morning about being admitted to a "hospital." In the dream my NO was already in the "hospital" for some reason and I was there in the morning and then went out to work and return again at the end of the day. In the dream, it didn't look anything like a normal hospital and looked more like a cross between a play date and a field trip with many of NO's schoolmates there. He was assigned a bed, but he was happily playing with Legos with other kids on a floor. I went about my day's work which somehow included going to all these different places and interacting with all sorts of different people from various parts of my life. I saw myself at a crowded beach boardwalk on a crowded forest trail and I know there were other scenes, but I've forgotten them. But I remember at the end of the day I was headed back to the hospital (that didn't look anything like a hospital), and was coming into the area where I would find NO and I was tired and stumbling and looking generally unwell and the hospital staff came up to me and started talking to each and said, "This one needs a bed too. Her son is here. Put them together."
I woke up then and about two minutes later NO walked in to where I'd been sleeping (a camper in my sister's yard). I told him to crawl up and snuggle me for a minute and I told him I had just dreamt about us. As we snuggled I told him about the funny dream and asked why he thought about it. He got it totally. We're hurting. We are going through our normal life, doing the normal things, but we're in an emotional hospital at the same time. And during this time we need a little extra care and tenderness from the people around us. I awoke from the dream exhausted. In reality I slept well and cozy in the little warm cocoon of the camper (despite goring to bed way too late), but waking from the dream I felt sort of like I was in the close of the dream, stumbling and in need of care. How to get it? How to let myself get it? Those are the questions. Here I am at my sister's house, but those aren't our roles. She loves me beyond measure I know, but she's not a caretaker for me. It's the opposite. How do I step into a different role?
And then there's the whole holiday issue. I feel like I'm doing ok with it all, but perhaps the dream is telling me to look beneath the surface and allow myself to feel the pain. I'm REALLY REALLY good at being happy and thankful and choosing to be positive. If I let myself be glum, I can. I could allow myself to spiral into tears, and I know that's important to be in touch with those feelings, but how much? I'm so good at "choosing my mood" that I could be just as good at being wrapped up in grief and pain if I choose, and I don't know what percentage of what in supposed to be feeling? And I get the ridiculousness of that. The idea that I'm "supposed to be feeling" anything, but I don't know how to respond to life any other way. I'm so accustomed to choosing my mood I don't know how to let a mood choose me.
Ok. Boys to get dressed. Off to the park with boys, sister and her new puppy. Then to get ready for the first night of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving.