In the world of sleep I lay on my dream-bed, next to dream-Dean, in my dream-bedroom. I woke from my dream-slumber in the early morning of Dreamland and looked out my bedroom window. There, in my backyard, was a black bear. I kept my eyes fixed on it as I tried to wake Dean up so he could see it too. But by the time Dean woke and started to understand what I was saying the bear had disappeared into the wooded area behind my house. When I said, “Oh, never mind, he is gone back into the woods.” Dean replied in a sarcastic tone, “Uh huh…sure…I believe there was a bear there.” I started to say, “There was, I swear….” When suddenly there were three black bears in our backyard and huge brown grizzly bear!
“DEAN! Come here! Come see! There are now four bears and one is a grizzly!”
Dean groaned, stuffed the pillow over his ears and attempted to go back to sleep.
As I watched the bears from my window I began to look closely at the grizzly bear. It wasn’t a grizzly bear at all. In fact, it was a small herd of deer huddled close together. The bears and the deer were not at odds. They hung out in our backyard as if of the same tribe. The Deer slowly began to separate from each other and that’s when I noticed the baby girl. She was so long. She had caramel skin and caramel hair, thick, but cropped short into a bob. She was an infant, but she had the face of an older child, and she was so long and skinny; her cheeks bones so pronounced.
Suddenly I was holding her. She was upset, inconsolable. I tried offering my breast to soothe her, but after latching for just a moment she let go and continued to whimper. I cooed over her and loved her dearly despite her inconsolability (is that even a word?). It wasn’t her fault she was so upset. Eventually she would recognize me as her mother, but right now she just didn’t and that was okay.
My mom came in and said, “Finally it is your turn.” Without looking up at my mother, I gazed into my daughter Scout’s eyes and said, “Isn’t she beautiful?”
“She? Haven’t you seen the baby yet? It’s a boy, not a girl.”
I looked up at my mom, confused and when I looked back down at Scout; my arms were wrapped around nothing. Scout had disappeared and I wasn’t holding anything, not even a blanket. I felt crazy, I knew Scout was my daughter, but where had she gone?
My mom pointed to a baby carrier in the room. I approached it and saw the cutest, chubbiest, little baby boy snuggled into it. His head had several dark curls resting just above his forehead. He had rich milk chocolate skin and dark roasted coffee hair. He gazed up at me and giggled. I removed him from the carrier and hugged him close. I pulled him away from me so I could gaze into his brown eyes and I said, “You are my Isaac.” And I sobbed. I held my son close to my heart and wept. I covered his head in kisses and tears. I was surprised he wasn’t the blonde version of Dean I had dreamt about before. I had just assumed that Isaac and Casey were the same boy because they were both so full of laughter and joy. But this son of mine was most definitely Isaac, and yet did not seem to be Casey. My joy was too much to handle and for a long time I just held him close crying. My tears matted his curly hair to his head, but this didn’t bother him in the least. Isaac cooed and smiled and reached his roly poly arms up to my face and touched my tear stained cheeks and he giggled whenever the tears wet his fingers.
I was full of joy, but there were other feelings mixed in. I was irritated that no one was taking pictures of the moment I met my son. I never wanted to forget this moment of joy, how could I preserve this moment? And then deep sorrow and fear surfaced. Where was my Scout? What happened to her? As much as I rejoiced over Isaac a part of me still longed for my darling girl. They were both so precious to me. But no one else saw Scout. Was she a figment of my imagination? Was I crazy?
I woke from the dream with a start, my mind racing: I thought Scout was my first…in my other dream she was older than my Casey boy. Were Casey and Isaac two different sons? Was Isaac still asleep upstairs in my first dream? Was Isaac my first and Scout would come later? What would I do with all the books and prayers littered with Scout’s name if she was not my first? How would I know that Scout was not Isaac and Isaac was not Casey this whole time?
And what was up with these black bears? Both dreams had black bears. Before I even knew we would be moving, I dreamt of My Little Fawn and My Brave Boy and in that dream there was a black bear in our yard as well. Dean and I have been looking for a house in an area we really like, and several months ago I noticed that the high school mascot was a Bruin: a bear. Is that connected in any way? How much of this dream is just dream? Is all of it just nonsense? Is some of it from God? What does all this mean? God knows…maybe someday I’ll know. But now, I’m praying for my three: Isaac, Scout, and Casey. Whoever you are, wherever you are, I love you. I love you, my dear children, I am forever yours.