I had a dream last night, one of those ones where you dream something the first time, and then it is magically the next day, and your brain tries to recreate what happened in the first half of the dream.
This dream was about sharks. It was about purposefully baiting sharks to watch them get aggressive and attack boats that viewers were standing in. Admittedly, I do not understand where the cruelness of this dream originated, for I quite like sharks, but that is besides the point.
The first day in this dream with the Great Shark Extravaganza, it was stormy and exciting, and everything ended in a bang (literally, because it was thundering). The sharks got all their food, and they eventually retreated. The only other person that I knew there had been my father. We had enjoyed the sharks as much as we feared them, but we had felt safe.
The second day of my dream, my class of fourth graders was joining in to watch the sharks. Now, at this point int he dream, I realized how dangerous it had been the night before to watch them. The sharks came ridiculously close to the safety rails. The boats had nearly tipped over. I had to protect my children. I could feel that sense of impending doom where a dream was about to turn into a nightmare. Someone in my dream was not going to make it.
But, despite my fearing of the worst, the dream took a turn. Yes, the sharks were still there, feeding aggressively and being angry with the boats, but it was not storming. Dolphins showed up from nowhere and protected the children from the sharks so the children could actually play in the water without fearing shark attack. An actual rainbow came over this bay of strange peace and happiness, and I was in complete shock in the dream.
And now I am thinking in metaphors, as I often do, and I wonder if perhaps I am becoming one of those people who loves my kids so much that I just want them to be taken care of, and I want to be the one to do it. After all, I said several days ago that I wanted to be a superhero. I wanted to save them from the sharks. I wanted to save them from the storms and the turmoil.
But I had done absolutely nothing besides stand there and watch as they took on their own challenges and learned who they could trust. All I had done in the dream was bring them to this place in which that opportunity for growth existed. I had not protected them. I had not even encouraged them to jump into the shark-infested waters. They just had done it because they felt ready to handle it themselves.
So, it seems that maybe – just maybe – I could be worrying too much sometimes.