Random Thoughts about Willow

Willow and I usually wake up together, but sometimes, every once in a while, I wake up before her. I get up with Owen, while she sleeps in, and he and I spend time together… or on even more rare occasions, Owen sleeps in, too, and I get time all by myself, as the toddlers like to say. In either case, when she finally awakens, she calls to me and I return to the bed and to her. On these days, she looks at me as if she is not entirely sure it is me. She stares, and I wonder what she sees, what she is thinking. “Is this really my mama?”, perhaps. After a moment or two, she always asks to nurse. She nurses, and my mind peacefully retreats until she is done. Then, finally, she has the look – “YES! That’s my mama!” and is ready to start the day.

Today, Willow was looking at a book with side by side images of babies and animals. She was holding it open to one of the pages where a sleeping, sprawling baby is contrasted to a similarly stretched-out monkey. She tells me this baby is “sleeping about an elephant”, which I at first take to mean “scared about an elephant”. (Willow was terribly frightened about an elephant some time ago at the San Antonio Zoo, and that event has replayed itself in conversations ever since.) So, I repeat this back to her, only to realize by her expression that that is not what she meant at all. She repeats herself, and I suddenly understand that she means the baby is dreaming about an elephant; she just did not have the vocabulary to express dreaming. Wow. We haven’t talked about dreams much, I guess, but at 2 1/2, she clearly has some consciousness about it. Of course, I knew she had dreams, I just did not know she thought of the act of dreaming while she was awake or was conscious of others dreaming. It blew my mind a bit. What is she dreaming about, right now, as I type?

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