I have several recurring dreams. One is a standard stress dream where it is the last day of the semester in college and the final is tomorrow. I suddenly realize I never went to any of the classes. I don't know any of the material and will surely fail. Another is the "naked in a public place" type of dream where I feel embarrassed and exposed.
My dreams are vivid and wacky and I often wake up confused as to whether they actually happened or not. I have some general themes that I can easily connect to my real life issues. One of my favorite bizarre dreams was when I was pregnant with Scott and so worried about breast feeding. I dreamed that I gave birth to my dog. Yes, my first baby was born, without any pain, arriving all fawn-like with long legs and fur. My immediate reaction in the dream: Oh, good, I won't have to breast feed her, I can just give her puppy kibble!
I dream a lot about buildings. Complex layouts and details of houses, apartments, offices, factories. The setting for the dream becomes more important than the events unfolding within it. I think I was an architect in another life. These are made up structures, places that I've never actually seen in real life.
Except for two houses. One, the house my cousin lived in, where her parents still live. The other, my childhood home that I inhabited for six years from the time I was 8 and first moved to this small town, until I was 14 and had to move across town and; subsequently, attend the rival high school from where my siblings went.
When I dream about my aunt's house, it is mostly the same house only altered slightly. I know why I have dreams that take place in this house. It is a happy, safe place for me. My aunt always made me feel special when I would come to visit my only-child cousin for weeks at a time. As the youngest in my household, I often felt overlooked and unimportant. But at my aunt's house, she'd stock up on apple juice and Cookie Crisp cereal before I arrived. She always made me feel special. It doesn't take a degree in Psychology to conclude that the dreams that take place in this house leave me feeling calm, content, wanted. In these dreams, the house is very much the setting, not the main point, and all kinds of characters can be part of the scene, whether they would have any logical reason to be in that house or not.
Now, when I dream about the house on Foxcroft Drive, it is a true recurring dream. I say that because it is very similar each time. I am, for some reason, moving back into this house. It could be just me with my parents, or me with my current nuclear family, or even on my own. It usually goes something like this: I am house-hunting with a real estate agent and end up at this very house. I tell the agent that I grew up here and that I just knew I would someday move back into the house. I decide I have to live there. I tell the agent how I've been dreaming about this for years and here it is coming true. The dream continues with me and my family moving our things in, deciding who will get which rooms, what changes we need to make.
While this is going on, I have flashbacks to major and minor events that happened there. The time my father decided he would burn some brush in a ditch in the backyard and ended up with third degree burns on his face and arms. My mother smoking a single cigarette and drinking a Tab as she wrote out her grocery list at the end of the day when the kids were supposed to be asleep. My sister and I making up gymnastic routines in the basement pretending we were Nadia Comaneci. The party my brother had when my parents went out of town and the dog got drunk. Christmases, birthdays, meals, arguments, laughter. So many memories.
At the same time, I have this sense of being exactly where I should be. Like a destiny fulfilled. My mother is convinced that there was a bad spirit in that home that had it out for my father. He did experience a lot of bad luck during those 6 years - car accidents, health problems, money troubles. My parents fought often during that time period. It was a big house, one they probably could barely afford, and I know they stressed about keeping up with the doctors and lawyers that lived in the neighborhood. And my brother and sister were teenagers who were, let's just say, not always the easiest to parent.
We settled at this house after having moved three times in three years. My mom vowed that we would never move again. She decorated to the hilt, joined woman's groups and played golf at the country club. Like most families we had lots of fun times and plenty of bad ones. It was a roller coaster. I always felt loved and cared for, but I was the last, and least noticed.
When we moved it was traumatic for me. I threatened to run away. They were uprooting me, to a condominium on the other side of town just as I was going into high school. I had to attend a different high school then the one my brother and sister went to. For the first time, no one was forging the path in front of me. I was angry, but, in the end, this turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me.
I do not have this dream all the time. Sometimes I go months without it and then there are weeks where it visits me nightly.
The dream always ends the same.
I am in the house and I am thinking, this finally came true, just like I knew it would. Just like I knew it would. I don't feel happy or sad, just slightly satisfied. That I am in familiar surroundings and more over, that I am proven right. That I saw this coming. This return. That I am, of all my siblings, the one who just knew, who this was supposed to happen to.
I awake expecting to be in the house, in my parent's room.
Every time I am so sure it is true.