Friday, April 15, 2016

Scary Dreams

Dear Drake,

Right now, while you are four years and four months old, you are crawling into bed with us almost every night. Anywhere from about an hour after your Dad and I go to sleep, to 15 minutes before we have to get up in the morning. Sometimes I hear you wake up, obviously sad or scared from some unpleasant dream and sleepily welcome you into my arms when you show up at the foot of our bed. Other times, I roll over in the night and discover your small body sleeping next to me since who knows when. As squishy as it can be, and as much as I do not like your feet in my face, as you are known to do, I love it. I love how much you love to cuddle, and will be profoundly sad when the day comes that you decide you have outgrown it.

A couple of nights ago, Dad was away for work. You came into bed with me almost immediately. I don't think I had even fallen asleep when I heard you crying upstairs. I came up and found you wandering around the kitchen, half asleep and whimpering. I scooped you up, you wrapping your long limbs around me and resting your head on my shoulder, and carried you down to my bed. I think we both sleep better together, which might have something to do with the 14 months you spent sleeping in our bed after you were born. We cuddled straight through the night.

Somewhere around 5 in the morning, you woke us up with a scream that peeled through the dark room. The kind of gut wrenching wail that tears a person out of some terrifying nightmare. "NoooOOOOOOOOO!!!!" you screamed. "NO CHEESE IN MY QUESADILLA!"

It still makes me giggle. I am sorry you were scared, but good grief, Son. That is what scares you most?! Food. Our biggest struggle with you. The never-ending, completely nonsensical battle. You love tortillas. You love cheese. But how dare someone put cheese in your tortilla! Silly boy.

I related the story to Daddy, and he laughed, of course. As we chuckled together, it occurred to me that you really ARE the product of our marriage. Your Dad and I, we were meant for each other. We are best friends, and each other's perfect counterpoints. He keeps me steady, and I keep him dreaming. We support each  other. We make each other laugh. We communicate patiently. I'm telling you this to try to make your understand that your Dad and I are very well matched - in all ways but one: food.

I'm the hippie who wants everything to be non-GMO, organic, whole grain, pasture fed, locally raised, whole foods. I believe just about every issue we have with our bodies can be addressed by what we put into it, and that processed foods are the root of all evil. I was a vegan when I met your Dad. Your Dad, most decidedly, was not. The joke is that he is my Southern boy who likes fried chicken. The truth is something a little less stereotypical than that - for both of us -  but is certainly marked enough that it was the subject of much teasing from our friends when we first got together. "That will be the only thing they ever fight about," friends would say with laughing eyes, as your Dad joked about wanting to fry a Twinkie and I freaked out a little. And then we got married, and we made you, and here you are: a funny, sweet boy, a good communicator, a loving member of our family with whom our only fight is food.

Funny how life works.

I do hope to be able to teach you healthy habits and that you carry into your life a strong understanding of the way to nourish your body. In the meantime, I'm going to do my best to remember that this is the dynamic I created, and deliver my admonitions with laughing eyes.

I love you young man. I can't wait to cuddle you again tonight. I hope your dreams are full of grapes with no seeds and apples that have had every molecule of peel removed and absolutely no brown spots and that your cheese is safely separate from your tortilla.