Memory can be a tricky thing. As we get older, dreams, images, even television shows from our youth become intertwined with the fleeting images of our childhood selves. I begin to wonder what is fact and what my mind has conjured up in a facet of imagination.
When I was in Kindergarten, I believed that I was a figment of someone else's dream. That if I was too loud, I would wake up my dreamer and I would cease to exist. I worked very hard at 5 years old to walk the balance of being not too boring and not too loud so that I could stay in reality. I knew that when I fell asleep that I would cease to be, and that some other person - the person in my dreams - would awaken and live their lives.
I often fought sleep, choosing instead to sit in the darkness of my room staring at the pages of a book by the glean of light from the hallway. I remember the terror that I felt that tonight could be the night that I would slip off to sleep and never come back.
I wonder what Z's first memory will be. I wonder what she imagines in the darkness of her room at night. While her vocabulary is huge for 3, she struggles to find words to describe the images in her mind sometimes, choosing instead to make up words that I do not understand.
I wonder about the nightmares that wake her up in the middle of the night. My daughter shaking in my arms, refusing to tell me about the images that interrupted her slumber. By morning those images are gone and she is unable to tell us how she arrived in our bed or why she is there.
I wonder if she will remember these dreams when she gets older. I wonder if I will ever fully know the thoughts and ideas that run through her mind. I am fearful of the day when she begins to keep everything secret from me, the good and the bad.
I hope that in the next few years she will trust me enough to tell me her scary thoughts, her bad thoughts as well as her good thoughts. I hope that I will have a short time of sharing to hold on to before everything goes under lock and key.