@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
I Have Bad Dreams Too
I wake up on my sisters couch, to my niece practically on top of me staring at me. She had fallen asleep snuggling with me. I moved her but she woke in the middle of the night and crawled back next to me.
“You have to sleep next to me every night,” she says, “because if you don’t, I have bad dreams. And I don’t like to go to sleep when I have bad dreams. But I don’t have bad dreams when you are with me.”
Oh my sweet little Charlotte. Sometimes, she can be exhausting with her incessant talking and constant need for your attention, but still, she tells me she loves me a few times an hour, is quick to run up to you and give you a hug and everything in her eyes is “beautiful.”
She never remembers her nightmares, or what happened in them at least. Only that she was scared. I’ve witnessed her whimpering her in sleep before and tried to wake her but she won’t, so I just hold her close to me.
Charlotte has skin as sensitive as her sweet disposition, prone to eczema, and sometimes in her sleep she scratches herself. Cut to me getting her lotion, warming it in my hands before applying it to her body so to not wake her, so she can stop itching a rest more easy. My little Charlotte. Nothing’s going to harm you, not while I’m around.
But don’t you know I have bad dreams too. Among the good dreams. I still wake up sweating and shaking, sometimes reaching for no one beside me. Sometimes unable to go back to sleep. Turning on lights and waiting for my brain to sort what’s real and what isn’t. In some ways, I hope you never stop remembering your dreams, like me. And in other ways, I don’t wish upon you a tortured mind. For sleep is supremely important to sanity, which can quickly slip for the sometime insomniacs.
But you should know my mom, your Mimi, has bad dreams too. Some of which she values as premonitions or signs. Uncle Mitch as well. For years and years, he woke up screaming, running up to my Mom and Dad’s room or sometimes jumping into my bed in the middle of the night like you do now when I sleep over. Your mom too is visited by the Sandman, showing her subconscious warnings in her slumbers.
And while you may feel alone in that waking moment some sort of terror… some sort of warped reality, your mind playing a cruel trick on you, I hope you one day understand that not for one moment in the dark where it’s unknown and scary that you are alone. The dark can make you feel that way sometimes. But you, Charlotte, are a little light of your own, and people are always going to find you and be there for you. Most of all, me. Because you shine. You shine so bright.