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Friday, April 12th, 2013
2 years, 4 months.
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…
Saturday, December 17th, 2011
Last night, in a completely believable dream, I lost a tooth for no good reason. I thought, “With this being the weekend, how am I going to get this fixed?” Then I lost another tooth, and then another; it was like a falling house of cards but with most of my teeth instead.
This has been a reoccurring dream I’ve been having since I graduated college; but now, as a dad and husband, it’s so much more vivid.
Dreams are interesting in that they reveal something that our subconscious is trying to sort out while we are asleep. When I Googled “dream about losing teeth,” the most consistent interpretation was not that this dream tells of a preoccupation with one’s vanity, but instead an ongoing worry about money.
Do I worry about money? I’ve said it before, “I hate money.” I’m the kind of guy who could never buy a brand-new car. I refuse to pay for cable TV; surviving on the 8 dollar a month Netflix package through my Wii. At least half of the clothes I wear are over a decade old. My iPod was bought refurbished off of Amazon.com 4 years ago and its screen is completely covered in a spider web-like crack.
But while I don’t care about money, it’s pretty obvious that my subconscious knows something that the rest of me is not so aware of: Like a lot of people, I’m sort of terrified on a daily basis of not being able to provide for my family; of being without a job, again.
Yeah, I know it- that’s nothing knew. Most people throughout the history of the world have felt that way. It’s what drives the free market.
I’m not assuming I have a unique story, but I do feel scarred from my not-so-distant 4 month stint of unemployment. I call it my “Vietnam.”
Perhaps another reason I keep dreaming about losing teeth is the fact that my personality and skill set have led me to a life where quotas and statistics matter.
I’m horrible at math, science, or anything technical. But when it comes to carrying on interesting conversations, influencing people’s opinions, and translating engaging thoughts into blog form, I’m your man. That’s one thing I can do with confidence.
Or is it?
Both my “real job” in sales where I’m on the phone all day in an office and my “side job” writing for The Dadabase on Parents.com have something very serious in common: My performance and livelihood are measured in numbers.
At my sales job I am highly pressured to “meet quota” every month in order to remain employed. As for daddy blogging, the pressure is applied by myself, not my editors, as I check my “views” at the end of every day, hoping to see that more readers are tuning in to The Dadabase than the week before.
In fact, it’s my personal goal each day to write a Dadabase post that beats August’s, “The Half Abortion: Only Keeping One Twin.” Nearly everyday, it remains the #1 viewed post.
Despite not being a numbers guy, numbers measure my income as well as my sense of career accomplishment. So yeah, it’s a wonder I don’t dream about losing my teeth every night.
If only in the dream I could remember to read this exact blog post so I could remind myself that I didn’t really lose my teeth and that it’s just me subconsciously worrying about money again.
Then the only dreams I would have to worry about then would be the ones where I wake up completely bald or where I’m only a few weeks away from graduating college but forgot to attend that final math class all semester.
I was an English major. You do the math.
Image: Man in Santa hat, via Shutterstock.
Speaking of not worrying and just being happy, it’s time for a book giveaway. Hurry Less Worry Less at Christmas, by Judy Christie, is a book to help us get out of that frenzied, out-of-control frame of mind that we can find ourselves in during the holidays. This book helps us begin to have a deeper understanding of the joy of the Christmas season and how that can be a starting point for a more abundant life in the New Year.
Want a free copy of this book? Just be the first person to A) leave a comment on this post saying you want it and B) send me an email including your mailing address to email@example.com.
Thursday, September 8th, 2011
I’ve only got about 50 years left to live, if that.
Most nights as I fall asleep, I can’t help but think how sleeping through the night is sort of like checking out of reality, reminding me of the lyrics to Tom Petty’s classic song, “Freefalling”: “I want to leave this world for a while.”
Though I’m overly aware that at any given second I could die of any random cause, like instantly turning into a pillar of salt, I’m never more aware of the inevitability of death than when I am fading and falling into the dream world.
Sleeping is the closest thing I know to having an understanding of what it’s like to be dead. It’s the closest concept I have of understanding what it’s not like to live in this world, confined to rules of practicality and common sense.
Sure, it’s an understatement to admit that I don’t want to die right now. But I’ve never been more caught up in life than I am at this very moment, so it’s really on my mind.
After all, I have made a covenant before God to love my wife for as long as we both shall live. Then the two of us brought another life into this world. That’s pretty dang epic. That’s deep.
So now that I have involved myself this drastically in the course of history (and therefore, the future), I’m just dying to stick around. It’s not simply that I want to see what happens next; not simply that I want to see how the story unfolds with my wife and son. But I want to literally be here, as part of their story.
Without a doubt, it’s sad to think that the story could go on without me. It’s sad to think that has been reality for so many people who “died before their time.”
I’m not afraid of death. I couldn’t be any more confident of what happens to me the second after I die. But while I’m not afraid of death, I am pretty fascinated by it.
It amazes me that millions of people alive today in this world could take life (and therefore, death) so nonchalantly: That despite all the miracles in their lives, they never see a need to think past this life, and to consider how the people they interact with each day can be affected eternally by their words and actions.
How can a person not think about eternity, or convince themselves it doesn’t exist? The irony: that life itself distracts a person from thinking about death.
I can’t imagine not taking enough time to pause and wonder about what happens when the lights finally go out for good and what this life was for. I do it on a daily basis.
So it’s not that I ever wanted to die, or wouldn’t mind dying, but now more than ever, if I have any say in the matter, it’s as simple as this:
I don’t want to die right now.
And if I shall continue waking up alive each day, as I have done for 30 years so far, then I shall continue to live to the best of my ability. I’m the kind of guy who takes life way too seriously, but in a good way, I would like to think.
Categories: Deep Thoughts, Must Read, Nostalgia, Spirituality | Tags: afterlife, death, Deep Thoughts, dreams, dying, eternity, God, morbid, Tom Petty
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
If you’re not good at winning staring contests, you should try being in one with an infant. It’s pretty easy to win because there are no “overawareness” issues. Baby Jack is dedicated to the game; I’ll give him that. But typically I win because he either smiles or sneezes. There’s nothing like staring at a baby’s face. It’s amazing how long you can do it before you realize you’ve been doing it that long.
Of all the funny faces he currently makes, my favorite one is when raises his eyebrows like wants to be part of the 1950’s Rat Pack. There’s also the “Elvis sneer”, the “surprised Dana Carvey”, the “Paul McCartney”, the “ancient Chinese man”, the “drowsy poet”, and the “Mac the alien” (a reference to a mostly forgotten E.T. copycat movie called Mac and Me.)
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?
“I wanna wake you from your dream. I wanna know just who you’re talking to when you’re singing in your sleep. I wanna find out what it means. I’ve got marbles in my mouth. Thousand words I wanna say but it’s impossible to spit ‘em out.”
-Guster, “Do You Love Me?”
Categories: Nostalgia, People, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: baby blog, baby dreams, dad from day one, Do You Love Me?, dog, dreams, Elvis, ET, face, funny faces, Guster, Paul McCartney, puppy, Rat Pack, rooting, staring contest
Thursday, September 16th, 2010
Until this week, I didn’t even know how to spell “Lamaze”, or even more importantly, what exactly it meant. All I knew is that it involved breathing techniques for women in labor. Monday night we had our first Lamaze class (out of six) and now I have a better understanding of what this is all about: Lamaze (named after a French doctor) classes help expecting parents to prepare for the birth of their child ideally without the use of medical intervention (AKA: going natural).
I think our take on “going natural” with this birth is currently along the lines of “let’s just see if we can do it”. Ideally, we won’t use pain medication, and a C-section won’t be necessary. But we obviously recognize it may not happen that way. We half-way joke with each other that if we can do this without an epidural, we’ll spend that saved money on a trip to Maine. I’m seriously planning on printing off a picture of us on our honeymoon at Kennebunkport to take when we go to the hospital, as inspiration. But we’ll see how it turns out in reality. I’m starting to care less either way.
With us starting Lamaze classes, it takes us to a whole new level of “Wow, this is really happening!” We’re both having weird, off-the-wall dreams, evidently fueled by our subconscious anxieties. I recently dreamt that Jack was born with light blonde hair and blue eyes, which I think is near impossible given our particular genes, though Uncle Jesse and Aunt Rebecca from Full House had blonde twins (and I could never get past that).
We both have sore backs these days, as it’s hard to sleep comfortably for either of us because my wife has to sleep sideways now with about five pillows, meaning I’m limited to a smaller sleeping space. But hey, I’m not complaining. I just want to do anything necessary to help her feel a little more comfortable during the pregnancy. And we are starting to feel this sense of unsettledness as we count down these final eight weeks or so. It’s getting to the point where we are both thinking, “Enough of this pregnancy stuff, I’m just ready for him to be born already!”
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
Categories: People, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: babies, baby, dad from day one, dreams, expecting parents, French, Full House, honeymoon, Kennebunkport, labor, Lamaze, Lamaze classes, Maine, natural, parenting, pregnancy, Smurfs, stork