Zane woke up one morning from a nightmare. He woke up crying, disoriented. He had likely been dreaming about the Army ants from Monster Bug Wars, I thought. Or the praying mantids. Or the--ick--extremely enormous cockroaches. I had nightmares about those cockroaches myself. I calmed him as best I could.
"Mama, why did you turn into a monster?" Zane was still crying, but he was fully awake now. As he told the story, I turned into a flying monster in his dream.
I did all the mother stuff that you're supposed to do in these situations. I comforted my sweet child, hugged him, and assured him that I had no intention of turning into any sort of flying monster now or at any time in the future.
But I was irritated about the entire thing.
Really? I was thinking.
Are you kidding me?
I know, it's childish. He's just a kid. I really shouldn't be upset with him for his subconscious pulling a fast one. I was probably more cranky about losing sleep than anything else, which is usually at the root of most of my crankiness. Anyway, you can't really stop a nightmare--they just sort of appear and you're helpless until you wake up.
Still...I was annoyed. Here I am, making sure my son is loved and fed and clothed, reading him books, playing "Crazy Lions in the Living Room" with him, holding him when he's sickly, etc...and I'm the monster in his nightmare.
And not even a decent monster! I just fly. That's a silly power for me to have. I'm scared of heights, fer cryin' out loud! No horns, no fangs, no flames...just wings. Bah.
I'll bet if Zane had a nightmare about his father turning into a monster, he'd have had some flames...