In my dream, I was in a tent cabin like one would find at a lakeside summer camp. There were bunk bed cots against the olive green canvas sides and two large picnic tables in the middle of the room. I was "camp counselor" to a group of a dozen or so boys, including Joey and Jack. (Emily has always complained about the disproportionate number of boys in our inter-family activities.) They were all from our old Walnut Creek neighborhood gang, as old as they were when we moved away in 2005. There were lots of different activities going on and it was loud, to say the least. Several boys were playing paper football at the center tables. Suddenly, someone called out that Ryan had fallen asleep on one of the beds. Sure enough, I looked over and saw my girlfriend's son fast asleep on his stomach with his legs tucked up under him. In 2005, Ryan was 5 and not a great sleeper so we were used to him collapsing in exhaustion when he found a quiet and cozy corner. The other boys began to complain that they would have to be quiet while Ryan slept. I told them that I would teach them how to make paper footballs. Andrew said that would be boring. I told him, "You are playing with paper footballs that I made and if you ever want to play without me, you'll have to know how to make them yourself. One day, you will be teaching your son how to make a paper football and you will be thankful for the annoying woman who taught you." He gave me one of those Cheshire Cat grins which told me that he may not have understood everything I just said, he was going to do it nonetheless.
While nothing extraordinary occurred in my dream, I recall it so vividly, perhaps because it could just as easily have been a memory. I told Joey about it this morning on the way to school. I thought he might be amused by the little trip down memory lane. Instead, he looked at me incredulously and said, "You dream about being a mom?" I was taken aback as I had never considered that my dream might be an aspiration rather than just a subconscious manifestation of my swirling psychic energy. He was obviously disappointed that my life goals would be so ordinary. I reassured him that I am happy being the mom in our family and I had no dreams to change that. He shrugged his shoulders, already bored with the topic and clearly unimpressed. The truth is, Joey, being a good mom to you, Emily and Jack is the greatest thing I will ever do. Perhaps, one day, you will be impressed by the challenge of that accomplishment.