I have always had an active imagination—even as a kid. Some might even say an “overactive imagination.” In some respects, I would probably have to agree. I can get carried away some times.
Why I make mention of this, is that this morning Callie woke up earlier than usual and came and crawled into bed with Scott and I. “I had a bad dream,” she said. “It was scary.”
This got me to thinking: my daughter is sooo much braver than I was when I was a kid.
I had bad dreams as a little girl, but there was NO way I was climbing out of my bed to go find my mother. There was NOTHING you could do to make me step foot on my bedroom floor. The obvious reason—there were living things under my bed. Things that would grab my ankles and drag me under and into the dark abyss where monsters and boogiemen reside.
Nope. No way, was I getting out of that bed. Instead, I would scream for my mother until she came for me. It is a well-known fact that monsters do not like mothers. It’s true. (My mother has never seen a monster, and now that I am a mother myself, I have yet to lay eyes on one as well).
I also believed that if I lay in the very middle of my bed—the VERY VERY middle—no monsters could reach me. Because everyone knows, especially little girls, that though monsters are HUGE, their arms are not. Their arms can’t stretch to the middle of the bed, only the edges. So I did not want to accidentally be found sleeping or resting near the edge, not even if my bed was pressed up to a wall on one side—monster arms can be thin and still slide up the side of the wall. I also made sure my closet doors were closed each night too. I could NOT have it opened even a crack. Monsters live in closets too (just ask Disney).
I fully believed these things.
I remember having two large stuffed lions (carnival game prizes someone gave to me) and I would place them on either side of my bedroom room. They were big, maybe two feet high, and they looked scary with their red and pink fur. They were my protectors. I also believed that stuffed animals had souls and feelings. I would struggle in picking only one doll or one stuffed animal to sleep with at night, fearing I would hurt the feelings of the ones I had not picked. I had tried to come up with a rotating system, so everyone could have their turn. I tried for equality. (Funny thing, I still feel bad for the stuffed animals Callie does not choose to sleep with. I look at them sitting there, hopeful). When Toy Story was released, it confirmed everything I had ever believed. Toys are real. Obviously, I was not the only one who believed as I did—Disney did too. Me and Disney, we’re like this (crossed fingers—tight).
Anyway, I still have bad dreams. Awful, end of the world, apocalypse type dreams. I kid you not. My first was when I was a teenager. I still remember it to this day—men on horseback rounding people up to slaughter. Since then, I get one every so often—the world burning while I hide in a cave as hot lava pours down the sides of the mountain; buildings falling in on people, like sand, crushing them; 9-11 dreams where I am in the towers, the building is burning and I am trying to call my loved ones to say goodbye; I even had my very first zombie dream several weeks ago (this dream is going to be a scene in the zombie-western I’m writing. Creepy) Now this dream, I blame myself. Zombies have been on my brain a lot while I was preparing for NaNoWriMo, so dreaming about them was bound to happen. But the others, I have no idea where those come from.
Crazy? Maybe. Imaginative—OH YEAH! Perhaps that is why I am a writer. My brain is TOO full of creative things (It is. Don’t look at me that way) and so writing is my outlet. I have mentioned before, I have been writing ever since elementary school. I was told by my sixth grade teacher (years and years later, when I ran into him and asked him if he remembered me), that I wrote the longest short stories of anyone he had ever taught.
I am different. I know it. I overheard a lady at one of my book clubs mention that to go away on a writing retreat would be torture for her. She couldn’t think of anything worse than to have to write for hours and hours at a time. I had to stop her right there and insert myself into the conversation, because to go away on a writers retreat and write for hours and hours without interruption or having to participate in the rituals of everyday living (dishes, laundry, yelling kids, etc, etc . . . ) would be my DREAM. I would LOVE it. I think that’s what I want for my 40th birthday—send me off by myself somewhere nice to write, and relax (maybe hit a spa too) would be a great gift. I hear Hawaii is perfect for that kind of thing.
I am grateful for my overactive imagination. It helps me create novels. I love it. I embrace it.
Except when I hear weird noises downstairs in the middle of the night, then I’m not too fond of it. Because EVERYONE knows, creepy noises mean homicidal maniacs are in the house.