I don’t know if many of you know this, but my daughter Esmé is a traveler.
Apparently, the other night, when I thought Esmé was asleep in her crib down the hall, she was actually in Scotland with my cousin Christy.
She was off traveling.
Yesterday morning I woke to a message from Christy letting me know that she dreamed of Esmé last night. In Christy’s dream Esmé was able to speak, and, Christy explained that Esmé “didn’t want to talk about anything except how much she loved you, and how excited she was about *everything* – and she was so, so happy.”
When I read this I burst into tears.
See, Christy isn’t the only one who has these kinds of dreams about Esmé. Ever since Esmé was born I have had a number of people tell me that they’ve had intense interactions with Esmé in their dreams…And in these dreams Ez is always talking or running or dancing. She is always letting the dreamer know something positive, comforting, or exciting. It has happened with people who’ve never met her as well as with people who are close to her–her grandfather, her aunt India.
I never know exactly what to make of these experiences. One part of me thinks–oh, of course people dream of her, because they are thinking of her.
And really, who wouldn’t be thinking of Esmé, right?
But another part of me, the part that is, well, a bit less scientific, believes that dreams are significant in some way that we can’t yet totally grasp. I like to imagine my daughter, freed from all the constraints of her uncooperative body, traveling through space and time to connect with the people who she wants to be close to, to tell people things they need to hear, and, sometimes, just to see someone new. I like to imagine that this is part of the tradeoff she gets–while some other children are running and playing with friends during the day, and sleeping the sleep the rest of us enjoy at night, my daughter faces her days with determined hard work, only to be limitless while she sleeps.
I like to imagine this so much that I do it rather often. In fact I have written her an entire world that is built around her having abilities that the rest of us cannot understand.
These are the reasons I cried when I read Christy’s message: I knew that Christy was thinking of Ez, holding her close–even though they’ve never met. Also, I believe it is some kind of sign of Esmé’s ability to reach beyond herself.
But also, admittedly, there is something else. There is jealousy.
Esmé has never visited me like this as I sleep. She has never told me secrets or shown me the way she can walk and run and dance in my dreams. I see these things in my day dreams. I see them when I write about her magical world. But I have yet to have a dream like this…
And I so wish I could.