Archive for April, 2010
This post has been building for me for a while to. When I was six, I drove my parents mad because every night I’d perpetually have a bad dream. I would end up walking through the entire dark house (our room and Mom and Dad’s were on separate ends of the house) and I’d wake up my mom (pre monitor days) and complain that I’d gotten a bad dream to which I’d receive a hug, a gentle reminder that it would be ok and then I’d be sent back to bed (really bad ones credited a trip back with me to my room to be tucked in and hugged.
Flash forward thirty years and we’re beginning to hit that same stage; we’ve been fortunate to not have night terrors up until now with Aidan; I’ve heard horror stories about 3 and 4 year olds being unconsolable and keeping their parents up for most of the night. Now that we’re in the new house, Aidan’s bad dreams have begun to kick in in force. There’s been about 3 or 4 nights in the past week that he’s been up for at least an hour and a half (sometimes longer) complaining; to the point where he’d prefer the door be completely open.
I’ve got to admit, I’ve not been the best at 3 a.m. (I’m sure my mom wasn’t either, but she hid it better). There’s been a couple of times where I’ve complained to Melissa and grumbled while walking into the room that I’d ‘needed to get up in 30 minutes to exercise’ or ‘I’ve not gotten any sleep that night’.
Today I remembered what an occasional awful dad I am. Peter Gabriel did a CD in the early nineties called ‘Us’, dealing with his break up with his wife and subsequent mental breakdown and stay in a psychiatric ward for a while during a depression. It’s a compelling, intimate CD that is so emotive at points that you’d think your heart would burst open for him. One particular song, ‘Come talk to me’ was covered recently by Bon Iver and is breathtakingly beautiful. I ran to it this morning as my opening song of the run and as God lit the day and the brush strokes of clouds gathered around the sun welcoming it to the sky again, this verse came up:
“The wretched desert takes it’s form, The Jackal proud and tight
In search of you I feel my way through the slowest heaving night
Whatever fear invents, I swear it makes no sense
I reach out through the border fence
Come down, come talk to me
In the swirling, curling storm of desire unuttered words hold fast
With reptile tongue, lightning lashes towers built to last
Darkness creeps in like a thief and offers no relief
why are you shaking like a leaf?
come on, come talk to me
Please talk to me
won’t you please talk to me?
We can unlock this misery
Come on, come talk to me
I did not come to steal
This all is so unreal
Can’t you show me how you feel now?
Come on, come talk to me”
I could go on, but watching the beauty that God had laid out in front of me, I realized how patient He is with me when I complain or murmur or am fearful of change (I could go on about that one). I realized what a privilege that I squander on my own selfishness it is to be the voice Aidan cries out out for at night. That I have the access at this point in his life to ask ‘Why are you shaking like a leaf? Come talk to me’ and know that he will. That I can call his dreams out for being the unreal phantoms that they are. He’ll still have them, I know, brain development is such that his little toddler/baby/boy brain is beginning it’s long march to adulthood now. It will blossom, sometimes painfully, into a thoughtful man’s brain. I’m just praying for patience to care for that seed carefully now.
By the way, the Bon Iver cover of that song really is exceptionally beautiful; you would do well for yourself to hear the original and then hear Bon Iver’s cover.