Some people get up and read the paper. Or jog. Some people pray, or take a shower first thing in the morning. Some people check their email.
This summer, when days are lazier, I’ve been doing something different.
When she is still bleary-eyed, and stumbles into my room to wish me good morning, I ask her what she dreamt.
There is a sliver of perfect time before breakfast and summer cartoons have taken over when she’ll let me hold her on my lap still smelling like sleep. No new thoughts have entered her mind yet, she hasn’t thought forward to the promise of the rest of the day. She is still held half-way between the night and the morning and her memory is sharpest now.
I ask her. At first she doesn’t remember. But then, like unconventional words put to music that was never intended to be sung, dreams never sound the right way when they are explained. There is always something missing, something to be reached that never can with the daylight.
She was on a roller coaster, with a unicorn and a Pegasus. But I know in her mind, in her dream, it was much more than this. Her dream had all the dimensional colors possible in the wide world of her bed, but here in the morning, she can only barely touch them.
Barely. They never sound the same when you speak them.
But I try to understand. I try to put myself into her thoughts, I try to see the world she’s created. Its so hard. I’m so old.
I will continue to ask them, in that perfect five minutes when they are fresh from rest, what they dream. Maybe they will still tell me when they are grown, long after sleep has become a necessity rather than a chore.