I hate being sick. Every time I get sick, I have nightmares and the last couple of nights have been doosies.
Last night I had a dream that my dad came barging into mine and Tim's room demanding a cigarette. Even in the dream, all I could think was "Papa doesn't smoke... neither do I..." I kept telling him I didn't have any cigarettes, and that I didn't smoke, but he kept insisting. "Yeah, I need one, just one. Are you SURE you don't have one?" Then he offered me $95 dollars for one, at which point Tim handed him a match and sent him on his way.
For the rest of the dream I kept saying out loud, "WHY did he want a CIGARETTE? And what's with the match? What is he going to DO with that?" I was so confused, and then I heard water running and ran to the bathroom.
The baby was in the tub and screaming under the water and then I saw the last little bubble of air escape from his mouth. I yanked the baby out of the tub and started trying to scream for Tim. My lips felt glued together and I was shaking so hard that I had to force the sound out. I blew air into the baby's mouth and pushed on his chest to try and push the water out of his lungs, I placed him over my shoulder and felt the water gush out down my back. I kept patting the baby, and pulling him out to look at him. Then I realized it wasn't Calvin, it was the little baby that is always in my dreams with brown hair and brown eyes, the same brown hair and eyes that I have but neither of my living children have. The baby blinked at me with a blank expression as though she wasn't sure what had just happened, as though she was asking me what I was so upset for.
I just held her and sobbed and said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm SO sorry" over and over again. Finally Tim responds to my shaken screams and reappears in the dream. "What's the matter?" he asks me, but I just keep rocking and patting and shushing the baby and saying I'm sorry and then I wake up.
For a moment I just lay there in bed trying to figure out what happened. I want to roll over and shake Tim awake and demand to know why he left the baby in the bathtub with the water running. I want to cry and sob and scream at him for not answering me when I was trying to save the baby. But I don't wake him. I lay there until I can convince myself that it was just a dream, that this tragedy has NEVER happened to us. Then I get up and turn the bathroom light on so I can see Calvin in his crib. I stand over him and place my hand on his back, under his shirt and leave it there until I can feel his breath moving in his body. I lean over until my face is right next to his and I can hear his little snuffled breathing moving in and out of his puckered mouth. I kiss the back of his head with it's dark blond hair, just like B's and console myself with the knowledge that his eyes are blue, not brown and he is fine and not drowned in the bathtub.
I try to go back to sleep but I can't shake the sadness and stress from the dream. So I get up and check the baby again to make sure he is still breathing. Then I walk around to Tim's side of the bed where B is sprawled out against his chest and make sure that she is still breathing. At some point I went back to sleep, but even in the morning, I could still feel the left over emotions from the dream sitting in the back of my head. Every time that I hear Calvin fuss, I am thankful he is still breathing.
I wonder if my mom still has these kinds of nightmares, and I wonder if there will ever be a time that a nightmare or an episode of SVU or a story on the news or read on another mother's blog doesn't keep me awake at night checking that my kids are still okay.