Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Improper Poll: (Don’t) Give Me a Hand
But it got me thinking about my Weirdest Dream Ever. It was a toss-up between several, but this is the most recent. I dreamed I’d moved to Boulder, Colorado and wanted to have a party to meet people. My neighbor suggested that if I wanted to be really cool, I should serve as an hors d’oeuvre the latest delicacy: human body parts. I thought that was gross, but I also happen to think some kinds of sushi are gross, so I called the contact she gave me. He told me he had a nice shipment of hands coming in. I asked him how one prepares human body parts, and he told me it would come precooked and everything. Hooray for convenience food!
Fast-forward to party day. I went to pick up my hors d’oeuvre. The Body Part Guy proudly pronounced my prize “a real nice one” and pulled back a piece of foil, and there, on a plate, was a slightly roasted man’s hand. To this day I can’t type this without shuddering. It was a decapitated hand with fingernails and little hairs and everything, and I was so horrified that I awoke with a gasp and couldn’t get that picture out of my head.
I eventually realized the dream was meant to be what it was: a hefty little wake-up shove from my subconscious mind…in this case about some parenting issues. It’s easy to get lazy as a single parent. Parenting is hard work even when there are two of you. With one, you really are forced to work twice as hard to do a good job, yet there’s no one to back you up. And the great paradox of single parenting: if you make a mistake, it’s your fault for trying.
What I realized was that I was allowing my teenaged son to do something only because some other parents I knew allowed it, but that didn’t make it right. (I can’t remember now what it was. Nothing major, but child-rearing is never a truly minor thing, is it?) That dream was the equivalent of my subconscious mind asking me if I would jump off a cliff just because some other parents were doing it. And would I serve human body parts as food if that were the latest craze, too?
I tell you, single parenting…bites. Because you could always use an extra…hand. Ack! Do you have a really weird dream you’d be willing to share?