September 8, 2003

Wow!  What a really, really fine, but funky weekend!  I am trying to figure out where to start. 

First, I had a great weekend.  I told Eric that since he had completely forgotten my birthday last year (I thought I really didn't care, but around 11:50pm, I got all weepy and told him he had 10 minutes left to wish me a happy birthday... to his defense, he thought it was the following day, felt badly about it), I was going with the three-fold law and taking the full weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for my birthday fete.  He was a real trouper and honored it completely.  Yesterday was Nathan's 4th birthday, so I had to share that one.  The weekend was peaceful, loving and blessed.


Talk about some weird stuff!

On Friday night/Saturday morning, so between my birthday and Sept 6th, I woke up at 11:40pm (after falling asleep around 10pm) from a really intense nightmare.  When I tell it to you, it's not going to seem like much, but the feeling around it was very ominous and strange.  Eric, the children and I had just moved into a very small apartment on the second floor of a fairly ghetto apartment building.  Eric had a friend (male) over visiting that I didn't know in real life or in the dream.  They were sitting on the couch talking and I knew that Eric had to leave for work soon.  He was working nights and it was almost dusk.  I was working on the computer, which was on a coffee table pushed against the wall, so I was sitting on the floor.  In the dream, I knew the kids were in a back bedroom watching TV.  Eric came over to kiss me good-bye and told me he was leaving.  I asked about his friend and he told me he wasn't sure if the friend was staying or going.  Friend was just sitting on the couch at the time.  I continued working on the computer, my back to the front door.  Suddenly, a small window popped up on the computer screen and indicated that a programming was installing and the PC Cillan virus protector started going nuts.  I frantically tried to close out the install window, but the screen went black, then the computer restarted and up popped a full screen cartoon, drawn in South Park style, of people maiming and killing one another, buggering each other and lots of other unsavory, owie things.  It was extremely gruesome, even in cartoon form.  So here I go, trying to restart the computer or get to the virus via a backdoor or whatever.

I heard a rustling sound, looked up and saw that the friend had left, but had left the front door partly ajar.  I got up to close the door and as I did so, I saw that there were three very large women at the top of the stairs.  The apartment complex was set up motel style so that the steps to gain access to the second floor were on the outside and led up to drop off directly in front of our door (we were in the middle of the second floor) and then apartment doors went off to the right and to the left.  So these women were right in front of me when I went to the door as they broached the second floor.  These women were large as in very tall and very large, not Amazonian muscle, but very tall and prison matronish.  They were scowling and took steps toward our door.  I asked them if I could help them and the one in front said, "No, we'll just take what we want."  I went to close the door and found that the door frame portion where the dead bolt would lock into was missing, so the door was swinging freely.  They began pushing on the door and I was trying to hold it.  I looked over and saw Delena getting on the computer and I knew as soon as she did anything, the screen saver (which was still working) was going to blink out and she was going to see the cartoon, so I was trying to yell to her not to touch the computer, plus hold the door closed from these women who were trying to get in plus reach for the cordless phone which was close by.  Got the phone and turned it on, but there was no dial tone.  In the same moment, the women pushed the door open,  Delena accessed the cartoon and Dylan came into the room... then I woke up.

The feeling with which I awoke was very much one of being unprepared, vulnerable and something invasive about to happen.  I stayed in bed for a bit, but then decided to get up and make sure the house was secure.  Why ignore a nudge if it happened to be one and what would it hurt if it wasn't?  I checked the locks, found the backdoor unlocked and was in the process of dropping down the curtains (which I tie back to let in the sun) in my office when, remarkably, the phone rang.  The phone was right in front of me and in a flash, the thoughts went through my mind that it was likely Josh (my son, 21, in Fortuna, CA), since he's the only person who would be likely to call that late and that I didn't want the phone to wake up Nathan or I'd never get to sleep, so I snatched it up after the first ring, which did not let caller ID register the call.  I was still awash with the scary feeling of the dream, the office was really dark and I was not really prepared to hear a male voice that was very slightly familiar, but only in that generic, could be anyone voice way.  ...pause... "Can you guess who this is?"  I answered, "No, who is calling please?"  "C'mon, you know who this is."  "No, I don't know who this is and I'm really not in the mood for games.  What can I do for you?"  "Never mind, I'll call Eric on the other line" and he hung up.  ??  At least,  that's what it sounded like he said and I figured he was referring to Eric's cell phone.  It was weird, to say the least.  I held the phone for a bit and looked at the clock on the phone:  11:45pm, 5 minutes after the dream.  Was it possible that I had made the decision to get out of bed, check the locks and have the strange conversation in just 5 minutes?  Sure, it could happen.  I went in and woke up Eric to tell him about it and he was too sleepy to catch the eeriness of it all.  I tried to sleep and couldn't.  Got up and answered some e-mails for a couple of hours and then at 2:05am (looked at the clock again), I got a wave of extreme sleepiness.  Went to bed and slept immediately.

I was uneasy about what had happened all through the next day and it wasn't until the following day (yesterday) that I realized an even stranger thing.  The times... awake at 11:40pm, phone call at 11:45pm and huge sleepy wave at 2:05am, having looked at the clocks at those particular times.  When I birthed Nathan, 4 years ago yesterday, I woke up at 11:40pm (looked at the clock as I woke up) to go to the bathroom (one of many, of course), as I was going back to bed at 11:45pm, my water broke (looked at the clock to tell the midwives what time the rupture occurred) and he was born at 2:05am...the EXACT times, 24 hours off and four years later. 

What in the world could it mean?  Objectively, I immediately had my mommymind go to a threat against Nathan, but then I remembered that technically, he wasn't even in the dream.  I very briefly saw Dylan and Delena was really only there for a bit.  Nathan was in the back watching TV the whole time.  Plus, that just didn't feel right.  Since everything first comes through the veil of priestess, I then put it into the context of harvest time, which is now, the period of time between August 1st and October 31st.  How did an occurrence this profound fit into the context of harvest time?  In the dream, I felt "ill prepared" and "vulnerable," as though my children were going to be subjected to horrible things (the cartoon carnage).  The personal threat (the three women who were coming up the stairs) felt more personal to me than to the children.  They also were clear that they would take whatever they needed.  The phone told me that my contact to other humans was cut off... no one could help me with this.  The women were obviously going to push through the inadequate door had the dream continued. 

In many ways, the symbolism of the dream took me back to things that were going on at the time Nathan was born, as well as right afterward.  I was not at all prepared for what Nathan was going to bring into my life.  Sure, I had a child who was two and Nathan was my 6th child (three are grown men, Delena was 6 at the time), so I was no stranger to birth and child care.  Nathan, however, from the very beginning was a challenging child.  He was a fusser and never very happy being a baby.  Delena was the same way.  Dylan, however, was the Practically Perfect in Every Way Golden Child.  He was cuddly, loving, exceptionally well behaved and absolutely never a breath of inconvenience.  He was just the child an older mom, having children of love for a husband who had no children of his own, needed to have.  Nathan was a force of nature and blew into our lives like a hurricane.  Having Dylan as a lead in, I felt confident having another child, but I was in no way prepared for the experience of mothering Nathan.    He was demanding, aggressive, "proactive," very loud, not much of a sleeper and a master of "cause and effect."  He loved to see things happen and to be the one to make them happen.  A child like this is not only the undoing of the older mom, but also also a stark shock to the system when you think you've got your life on an even keel. 

The three women who were storming through my door and would not be subdued, determined to "take what they need," were the three Fates, coming to take me to my destiny.  I definitely fought against it and no person could help me in the fight with Fate (the phone). 

Mothering Nathan has definitely helped me to work through the last of my resistance both toward mothering as an older woman and in releasing the Mothering time of my life.  Three months after I had Nathan, I had my tubes tied, so no more babies.  After spending 22 years mothering children, it was unsettling to let go of that part of my life.  Certainly, on an intellectual level, I was not eager to think of having more children.  My pregnancy with Nathan had been difficult and I could definitely feel the "I'm finished with this" finality.  Letting go on an emotional and "life change" level was something else altogether.  What we do so strongly defines us on so many levels that even when it's time to move on, there can be some clinging and heel dragging and frantic Oh My God reluctance.

I don't think it was until this year that I was able to fully embrace the idea of letting my children grow up without having another ready to pop out like Pez.  I always looked upon the growing up of my children with a certain degree of sorrow.  I was addicted to the little child cuddles, the trust, the unconditional love (and still am, I will confess).  When the kids get older and begin making choices for themselves, the control freak in my goes wild with worry.  I'm terrified of my children being far away and not seeing them as much as I need and want to see them.  I am very tied into all 6 of my kids and when they are away for long periods of time, it makes my heart and my uterus start this harmonized painful wail.  This year, I have harvested peace with celebrating their accomplishments and growth rather than bemoaning what I no longer have from them.  I'm finally at peace with loving them for who and what they are now without mourning what they were, both the big kids and the little ones.  It's very liberating and exciting to be firmly fixed in the present instead of clinging to the past. 

Now, I'm excited about being a grandma (whenever that comes and I pray it's on their desired time table) and becoming more involved in my own interests.  Nathan, at four, is still a dynamic young man, but as he has grown, he has found outlets for his quick mind and keen curiosity, so he's calmed down and learned to self-entertain quite a bit.  This frees me up to pursue things that I want to do for me, like Eye on Soaps and other projects.  In the past, the kids were very time intensive and the time I spent on the computer was something that I perceived as a threat and detriment to their well being (symbolized by the danger I perceived to Delena via the computer).  I think Dylan came in right at the critical moment because he was not set up to be as affected by my escape into the computer as Delena, who was older and more needy at that time.

All of the components of the dream come together to identify to me the insecurities and unsettled areas that were mucking up my life at the time Nathan was born.  Whether spurred by harvest time and the understanding that what I've harvested is total peace in those areas or some time flux where I tapped into the energy of that time in an overlap, I'm certain of the translation of the dream.

The interpretation served to remind me of how wonderful my life is right now.  Delena has emerged into a glorious young woman who, rather than becoming more complicated, morose and emotionally volatile as she gets closer to puberty, is actually pulling a reverse whammy and becoming more peaceful, relaxed, responsible and self-confident as she gets older.  Dylan is still Dylan and lots of fun.  He loves first grade, although he does occasionally say that the days are too long now.  Nathan is an absolute delight, full of energy but so much more controlled and happy since he learned to talk and has developed his fine motor skills.  My relationship with all three older boys is comfortable and good.  Life, in fact, is good. 

But that phone call?  How many calls does the average person get at 11:45pm?  Was it just there as a time delineator?  To serve as a demarcation of 11:45, the moment when my water broke with Nathan?  No call ever came in that would back up or explain  the odd conversation of the call.  "Can you guess who this is?"  No, I still can't. 

And what was going on with Eric and his friend?  Was that just something to give Eric to do in the dream or is there more to explore there?


Now if I could just make peace with the whole housecleaning deal, I'd be fully functional.  ;o)

See you tomorrow!!