Yesterday morning as Mommy came to your bed to wake you up, you made a special request:
“Mater Juice! I want my Mater Juice! Where’s my Mater Juice?”
It would take the rest of the morning before you yourself began to possibly consider that whatever exactly “Mater Juice” was, it was something you had dreamed about.
I assume it’s the kind of juice that Mater from Cars drinks; which I would assume is motor oil. I’m confident you’re not referring to tomato juice.
The last time I considered that you have dreams was back when you were just a newborn and I wrote a post called Funny Faces and Baby Dreams:
“He often slips in and out of sleep when I stare at him. I try to imagine what he is dreaming about, as his face tells the seemingly same story every time. The dream starts out with Baby Jack petting a friendly puppy (Jack always starts his dreams smiling). Then a mean dog comes along and scares Jack and the friendly puppy (that’s when Jack has a worried look on his face). Lastly, the dream ends with him drinking milk or pooping (as he either starts ‘rooting’ or grunting, accordingly). What else would a baby dream about anyway?”
My understanding is that a dream is the unfinished processing of what the mind is preoccupied with. Therefore, your “Mater Juice” dream might simply be showing that in your recent obsession of monster trucks, you are now realizing you neglected Mater’s Tall Tales on our Netflix streaming cue. Also, with all the aftermath of your remaining Easter candy, Mommy and I haven’t let you drink any watered-down juice here lately.
In addition to Mommy and I learning about your dreams, we are also exposed to your playful imagination. Tonight as Mommy put you to bed, you proclaimed:
“I see a mouse. He’s dancing on the ceiling. And a man- he’s walking a bear.”
Or maybe that was simply you fading into a dream state while still awake.
Coincidentally in the midst of your leftover dreams and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” sorts of visions, I just watched a very captivating episode of Mad Men (Season 5) called “Far Away Places” and I’m trying to process this quote from it:
“Only awareness can make your reality and only what’s real can become a dream and only from a dream can you wake to the light.”
In other words… the more you learn, the more you have to dream about, and the more your dreams reveal what unfinished business you have about what you have learned.
Tomorrow morning we should watch Mater’s Tall Tales while drinking watered-down juice.
You’re lucky to have me as your dream interpreter. Just imagine, “Mater Juice” could have just been written off as some random dream…
You started noticing that Mommy and I hold hands and pray before we eat dinner every night.
It’s not some beautiful, poetic thing. We let our words be few: “Dear God, we thank you for this food today and all you have blessed us with. Amen.”
Last week you started wanting in on the action. You smiled at us and lifted your hands out for us to hold them.
So now before dinner, and at night as we’re putting you to bed, and before our family leaves the house for our separate ways in the morning, we pray together.
And you now not only expect it, but I can clearly see you like being a part of it.
I actually think you’re pretty aware of what’s going on. You know who God is from your Beginner’s Bible, as well as from church.
Tonight as I sang “Away In A Manger” as part of your bedtime routine, you stopped me in the middle of the 1st verse and said, “Jesus makes!”
I asked you what Jesus makes and you responded:
“Jesus makes oatmeal… and beans and rice!”
My immediate uproar of laughter pretty much killed the mood for helping you get to sleep. Mommy later explained to me you were referring to the 2nd verse, which she sings to you: “No crying he makes.”
I think it’s really cool that you want to be a part of our family’s prayer times throughout the day. I figure at best, what you gather from us praying is that we not only believe in God, but we trust him.
We have no idea what’s in our future, five minutes from now or five years from now. But we want to be in God’s favor and we know that means loving others as ourselves.
I know that’s a very simple way of explaining our faith to you, but I think if I as your dad can remember that much of it, I could have the faith of a child.
From what I understand, that’s actually a good thing.
You’re like me: You often process your thoughts out loud, sometimes not realizing that other people are listening and taking your curious trains of thought more seriously than you are.
Today as I drove you home from school and we listened to John Lennon sing “goo goo g’joob,” you interrupted “I Am The Walrus” with this deep philosophical creed:
“I not eat boogers? I eat food?”
Somehow I didn’t laugh, and instead, instantly responded in a tone that proved your questions to be legitimate.
“That’s right, son. You eat food, not boogers.”
I realize that your version of the food pyramid is almost exclusively built on mac and cheese, beans and rice, bananas, pureed veggies, and raisins. But even at the very top of that pyramid, there is no space available for boogers, with a caption reading, “Use sparingly.”
So maybe you saw some friends at school picking their nose, then eating their findings. Then you thought it was weird but maybe somehow you thought it might be acceptable, so you figured you should ask Daddy.
Or maybe, with all the talk of finding Easter eggs this weekend, and your confusion on whether or not chickens eat the eggs they lay, which leads to more confusion on whether cows drink the milk they so willingly and graciously share with the human population instead of their own young, I could see how you might think that you also could produce your own food source from your body.
Not the case.
Son, I’m glad we had our talk in the car today. I always want you to feel like you can approach me with important questions like this.
While there may be other families out there who disagree with our lifestyle choices, our family is firm in our beliefs:
Yesterday Mommy and I took you to your first Easter egg hunt of the year. You insisted on wearing a hat you outgrew several months ago: We let you win that battle.
During the drive there, I prepped you:
“Listen son, when the egg hunt begins, you need to pick up as many eggs as you can and drop them in your basket. Don’t stop to take the time to open the eggs to see what’s inside- there will be time for that later. Just find an area where no other kids are looking and search there for the eggs.”
The whistle blew and you were confused at first by the hysteria; you had the extra challenge of competing with 3 year-olds because we couldn’t find the 2 year-olds’ section.
But then, it was if you immediately remembered what I told you.
I saw this clever smile appear on your face… then you ran to a section in the grass where no one else considered going.
You meant business. Sure, it was fun for you, but you knew that when it was all over, each one of those eggs symbolized a chocolate treat which we normally wouldn’t let you eat.
After all the eggs were found, I couldn’t help but privately compare the number of eggs you had in your basket to the other kids’ baskets.
Son, you smoked ‘em. You did exactly as I instructed you in the car ride there.
You seized the opportunity, capitalizing in the free market of the egg hunt.
Granted, Mommy and I aren’t letting you keep all the candy you found. We sorted through what we would let you keep and we’re actually giving 75% of it away to your friends at daycare.
As your Libertarian dad, I am proud of you for learning a real-life lesson yesterday; in regards to being a responsible and proactive participant in the free market.
You worked hard and reaped the fruits of labor, but you’re also giving back to the community of toddlers who weren’t as fortunate to find as many eggs as you did.