Friday, October 10, 2008

I don't sleep well.....


 .....or at all , occasionally, but when I do I have incredibly vivid dreams, frequently containing casts of thousands and often not featuring me. They are usually  resemble  wonderful movies from which I awake grinning.  Then there are the other kind. I used to have them more often but in my old age I seem to have them about once a year. I dream that I am the worse person in the world and that people are yelling at me and telling me that I am a useless human being. This manner of dream is not at all entertaining. 
     I grew up with a lot of sarcasm, and very little praise, and as I was the youngest I do think that a lot of it happened before I had any concept of what sarcasm or teasing was. My sibs are quite bit older than I am, and found making fun of just about everything I did to be great sport.  This seems to be the role of older siblings as my sister in law complains often about my husband who is a mere five years old than she is. This is why I had my kids only two years apart and swore not to be a sarcastic bitch with them.  However, it seems that parents play to the oldest member of their child audience, and often we would be goofing around with the  Elizabeth, and  Rebecca, not understanding that we were joking, would give us this look of absolute confusion and say " really??". Her "reallys" became legendary. Even our adult friends would giggle at them, until the day she let us know, in no uncertain terms , how bad that made her feel.  I wish I could take them all back. All that teasing that she didn't understand, all that sarcasm she took seriously. I don't want her to have those dreams.  Ever. I don't think she has them. I had better ask her to make sure. We tried to temper it all with an equal dose of praise and expressions of unconditional love. Hope that worked. 
      Last night's dream was fairly horrific. The feeling of overwhelming shame that accompanied it is still with me hours later. However, it did propel me to "walk it off" in the trails around the lake, where I saw that scene up there (my cell phone camera does not do it justice, it looked like a trail of liquid gold). So the moral of the story, I guess, is don't tease your kids until they can tease you back. And when you have a bad dream take your dogs for a walk in the woods.  I am now going to buy myself a present. 
  Instead I ended up buying stocking stuffers for the offspring. This is the very first time I have ever made any Xmas purchase before December 1. I feel....unsettled. I'll probably lose them.  

4 comments:

Cristin said...

Your older sibling treated her children like she treated her little sister... and she still does...

crone51 said...

That's not good. I think it's encoded in our DNA or something. I have to fight with myself daily not to be a negative hyper judgmental jerk. I rarely win. Kindness is a good thing. And possibly one of the hardest traits to cultivate..why is that, I wonder?

only a movie said...

This post is making a lot of sense to me. Filling in some gaps, as it were. I want to be really careful of those things. I really hope I am doling out equal doses of bitching and extolling virtues in regard to the offspring.
But you know, I don't recall praise. Bragging rights are are claimed presently for some members of the sibling clan, but it's not bragging about how kind we are. And some of us really are. At least 2/3. Oy.
What a cool post. You do deserve a present - I think that scenery was an amazing gift.

crone51 said...

I think there was a generational thing about not praising your kids too much. I have friends who claim the same sort of childhood thing. And speaking highly of oneself was definitely taboo. I must have heard the expression " self praise stinks" a zillion times.
It seems to me what kids really really really want is unconditional love. That and limits so they feel safe. And a lot of silliness.
When I used to babysit I remember taking a bunch of kids to the pool and Lizzie did something brave ( like learned to swim a new stroke) and I told her I was proud of her and one of the other kids burst out crying because in her seven years of life her parents had never told her they were proud of her. I don't think she realized that parents could do that. It was heartbreaking. The kid was a brat too( she once stuffed our mailbox with oatmeal-seriously- It's kind of an amusing prank , particularly when it rains) but after she said that she was much nicer ( and we found no more cereal with our bills).