Of babies, childbirth, toddlers.
I'm 45, telling Jon that surprise! the vasectomy didn't work and we're pregnant with my much-wanted number six. I'm happy and perplexed at my happiness, even while calculating in an instant that I'll be 65 when the baby is 20. My dream-self is observed by my invisible self, as often happens in my dreams. I'm asking the dream-me how to rearrange the bedroom to make space for diapers and a changing table, how to run a business and look after a toddler, how to mother a little one when I'm tired and busy. Jon smiles, confused, but then says that it's a privilege to have a baby in your forties... even though he'll be fifty by the time that baby's born.
And then I wake up.
In the last month, I've buckled toddlers into car seats, I've held the hands of tiny children not mine, but who have been entrusted to me. I've seen a miniature Noah climbing concrete walls and Johannah's red hair all curly and uncombed, she so much smaller than me that she fits into my lap.
In one dream, I'm asleep with a baby tanked out on my chest. I wake up remembering that that was my very favorite part of being a new mother: napping on the couch with a sleeping baby nuzzled into me.
Once awake, I usually can't remember if I'm pregnant or not, if Johannah is packing for college or Noah is building houses in California. I pat my stomach to remember the empty womb.
I haven't talked about the dreams. It seems odd to me that they're coming so frequently now, so vividly, so obviously signs of midlife and loss and memory and young motherhood and a page turned that can never be un-turned.
Yesterday morning, Jon rolled over and declared: he had had a dream. That alone was worth noting. I dream in Technicolor daily and remember many of my dreams for years. Jon rarely remembers his dreams and most of them are in black and white. Consequently, I rarely hear him start the day with: I had a dream.
I saw Jacob as a little boy, needing my help. He was so cute, so little, big smile. And then I was crying...
And then so was I.
No one told us about the dreams.