I’m a bit of a crazy dreamer; always have been. Not only are my dreams vivid and detailed, but I seem to have a certain amount of control over them. For instance I can quite often wake up from a dream, go back to sleep and then change the ending. Not that I usually come up with a suitable ending mind you; those dreams tend to happen when it’s something I need to fix.
Last night’s dream was not like that. There was no hope of changing it at all. It was just horrible.
At about 2:30 last night, Ava woke up and decided it was time to play. No idea why, but she had obviously decided she had had enough sleep for the night. Over the next hour I got up and down to her multiple times, but somewhere in that time period I fell into a deep enough sleep to dream.
We were going home. I don’t know where from, but all six of us where there, and we were getting in the car. But it wasn’t our Nissan Patrol, it was a white lancer (don’t know how we would fit), and it was parked at the wharf. But not in the car park, no, it was parked on the water. The drivers side was facing a ledge, whilst the other side was over the ocean. I realised I couldn’t strap Ava into her chair, because I wouldn’t be able to swim in the deep water carrying her, and it was cold. So I gave her to Tim, and then climbed in the back seat and asked him to pass her to me.
‘I thought you had her,’ he said.
‘No, I gave her to you.’
‘No you didn’t.’
‘Yes I did. I couldn’t put her in her chair remember.’
‘Oh, well I just put her down over there,’ he said pointing to the front of the car.
Immediately dream Jess was filled with panic, and I started searching the water in case she had fallen in, but it was dark, and the water was black and I couldn’t see anything.
I started walking around looking, and calling for her, growing more upset by the minute. After all this is a crawling eleven month old, and the ocean we were talking about. Suddenly I saw her.
She was sitting on a croc trap.
And inside was a huge saltwater crocodile, trying to bite her.
Now if you’re not a NT local, and you haven’t seen the NT News where stupid people periodically plank, or stand on croc traps whilst holding a beer, you may have no idea what they look like. Basically they are a large metal cage with a chook in one end, and a door the shuts once snappy goes inside.
Well to begin with that’s what this one looked like, but then it was on it’s side, and my little baby was hanging on to the cage whilst I got a first had view of the croc trying to eat her precious tiny fingers.
The stupid things about dreams; I knew the croc couldn’t touch her, but even though she was in my arms reach, I was too scared to grab her, in case it attacked me.
Just as I worked up the courage and reached out, she started to move. The trap was being dragged by an old school type, green and white crab boat. Ava was still hanging on to this cage, her fingers and toes gripping the metal, whilst the boat whizzed off, and all my hope with it. I looked for a number plate, but boats don’t have them, and then I realised the harbour was full of green and white boats exactly the same.They were illegal immigrants, here to catch crabs.
The next thing I know I am at my kitchen table, looking through the phone book for the fisheries number. At some point it dawned on me that I could call the police so I did. The nice lady on the phone informed me that she was sure my daughter would be fine, and if I hadn’t heard from her in a while, I should call back. I told her to get out there and find her, and in the mean time invited the policeman who was skulking around my pool fence in. He explained the ladies reluctance. ‘Political red tape,’ he said. ‘If they start checking the boats for your kid, the fisherman will lose their licences, and that effects trade.’
At that point Tim came out of our room, where he had been sleeping. I told him to put on more than his jocks, and he ignored me, but it didn’t matter, cause by the time he got to the dining room, he had turned into Bridie. I was crying and yelling at her that this was all her fault. If she hadn’t put Ava down, none of this would have happened.
Then I felt guilty for yelling at her, thinking that if we never got Ava back, her sister would live with the guilt forever, that she killed her.
That was when I woke up to Ava crying.
I have never been happier to get up to her in the night in my life. I picked her up, and brought her into bed, and even though she was determined to play, and was keeping me up, there was a part of me that didn’t want to let her go. Like if I let her out of my sight for a second, it might come true.
Eventually I realised it would be ok, and at quarter to four, she went happily back to her bed, and blissfully to sleep.
But I lay there wakeful and listening. For what I’m not sure.
There have been many times when a midnight waking has come with the compulsion to pray, and usually the next day the reason becomes clear. Like the time my brother in law narrowly avoided what was set to be a fatal car accident. At the time of the crash, I was in bed praying for what I didn’t know; I just knew something was wrong.
There was no necessity or need last night, but since I was awake I prayed anyway. For the families and parents of the children who do go missing. Whether it is publicised cases Daniel Morcombe or Madeleine McCan, or the children of divorce who are stolen by one parent to spite the other. For the victims of human trafficking, who have no voice. I prayed till I fell asleep, and this time there was peace.
My family was safe and warm and tucked up in their beds. So many others aren’t. So many will never be ever again.
And that should be a nightmare for all of us.
On a lighter note, anyone know how to interpret dreams?