“Sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt your writing,” she says.
I can tell that whatever it is, it is important, so I gesture to the bed, “Nope, it’s nothing. Talk to me.”
Over the last few months, the children and I have developed a scale of urgency in communication. There are times when I don’t need to pay full attention, they just need to say what’s going on in their minds to a willing witness. There are times when whatever it is, it can wait. And then there are the times when they need all of me present.
Zaviera sits on the edge of the bed, hands clasped in her lap and begins, “I had this dream and I keep thinking about it because I keep feeling it in my body.”
She roll/wiggles her shoulders a little and shivers.
“In the dream, I felt these wings sprouting out of my back. I can kinda still feel them,” she says, pausing and observing my reaction.
“So it felt super-real?” I ask.
“Yes! I can still feel it, that’s why it was bothering me. So I was growing these wings and I came to you because I was scared and you told me it was okay, so I wasn’t scared anymore.”
She gets a little shy. “I know it’s silly.”
“No,” I tell her, “It isn’t silly at all. I remember my first dreams of having wings. Did you get to fly?”
She smiles, her hands lifting in the air, “Yes! I did! I started to fly and I was a little scared but mostly excited.”
My dreams of flying were probably the beginning of my faith. They were also sneak previews to the greatest challenges in my path; always when I became self-aware that I was flying doubt crept in and the need to prove it to others took my wings away. Between those moments of lifting off and questioning, I soared to places my heart and spirit recognized as heaven.
“So where did you go? What happened when you felt scared? Were you able to keep flying?”
“Yeah, I was for a while. I didn’t go very far because I saw some kids on the ground and they started throwing rocks at me and I got angry.”
Her face drops and I reach out for her hand. “Don’t worry, that happened in my dreams too. I would try to show other people I could fly and then they’d laugh at me or I’d get shy and I’d lose my wings.”
“They made me really mad,” she says.
“Good,” I say, “be mad, but only mad enough that it proves them wrong, okay?”
“Yeah, I’ll try. It was pretty cool,” she said, “flying. But still, those kids, they were mean.”
“I know, sweets. People can be that way but it doesn’t matter. Next time you dream, just fly a little higher so you can’t hear them, okay?”
She smiles. Hugs me. “Thanks, mom. I’ll let you finish writing. I feel better now.”
She disappears out the door, giving commands to the dogs and whistling a little song to herself.
I sit for a moment longer.
I turn my attention back to words, hoping to find my way back to that freedom, that lightness of possibility and grace.
My daughter has reminded me that it is our birthright to soar. It is in the blood, in the bone, it just requires a certain type of remembering. A surrender and letting go.