For The Someday Book

The Stuff of Dreams

Posted on: September 1, 2010

One of my favorite photos of B sleeping, taken over a year ago.

B begins his day curled up in bed with us. Some days, he creeps in before dawn and we snooze awhile together. Other days, he comes in ready to wake up and we cajole him into bed for a few minutes while we peel our eyes open. Almost always, the first words he utters in the morning come in the form of a question. Not the same question. Not just an ordinary question. Not, “can we get up now?”, “what are we having for breakfast today?”, or “what are we doing today?” B begins the day with some of the most random and most specific questions he asks all day. (And he averages several hundred questions a day.)

Here are the questions from this week. Remember, these are the first words he utters in the morning. All begin with the prefix, “Mommy?”

  • Have astronauts ever met an alien in space?
  • Do some rock stars like Corvettes?
  • Do you know what “fascinating” means?
  • What do you call this bone I can feel in my hand? I can see it in my skin–do you call it a skin bone?
  • Do elephants live in the jungle? What about alligators?
  • Does our watermelon have seeds? (The CSA one awaiting us on the kitchen table.)
  • If something is alive, does that mean it has eyes?

I love his inquisitiveness, even if I find it overwhelmingly intense at 0-dark-thirty. These are always the first in a long line of questions that pour out of him in the pre-dawn hours. I wish I had thought to remember more of them, but I confess that my first thought as they pummel my sleeping brain like a shot of BBs is to just make it stop.

My second thought, however, is always: where is this question coming from? At that hour of the morning, I can only assume that each morning’s line of questioning emerges from somewhere in his dreams. And this, to use the newest word in his lexicon, fascinates me. I don’t know about you, but I am totally infatuated with the idea of peering into his dreams, his subconscious, to learn how his mind works and what worries him and what excites him and what puzzles him. These questions are a small window into his young mind.

Apparently, it is a very random and inquisitive place. I’m going to try to suppress my desire to outfit him with a snooze button and pay better attention to the questions themselves.

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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