the stuff of nightmares

I’m not talking about the presidential election this year. No, I’m talking about the things that, if they don’t keep us awake at night, our subconscious haunts us with in our dreams.

I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, even from childhood. I can remember being five years old and “remembering” that I – along with my dog and cat – could float down the basement stairs. But I couldn’t figure out if it was a real memory or a dream. It felt real. I wanted it to be real. I’d sit at the top of the basement stairs wondering if I could fly. Luckily, I was smart enough not to try it, and nice enough not to test out my flying theories on either pet.

But it felt real.

I’m used to having very strange dreams. It’s part of who I am. But last night, I had a dream that was too close to a real fear.

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The dream went like this…

I went back for a visit to our old town in Michigan. I got there in time to witness their latest special education procedure – which was to line up all the special ed students from each grade or class in a glass-fronted room and decide which ones were too difficult. Each child wore a locket of sorts, and when their group was called, parents were able to open the locket to see if their child passed testing.

If they passed testing, great. They went on for another year.

If they did not pass testing, they were culled. Deemed “too difficult” and euthanized.

My friend’s child was part of the group. She told me this was his second time being chosen for testing. I watched one little boy break free and take off running, an aide chasing him down, catching him, and carrying him back to his group, where the other kids were strapped into seats. Parents mulled about the big center area, waiting for their child’s group to be called, not knowing if their child would be considered too much of a burden on society and therefore must be culled. The parents had no say in the fate of their child. It was left up to the school district. Because budgets and all.

My friend’s child passed the test, and allowed to live another year.

We went and bought donuts to celebrate.

End dream.

I don’t need a dream interpreter to help me figure out the meanings behind my dream. It’s simple. It’s a fear we parental people have for our vulnerable offspring. That they’re deemed unworthy, a burden, useless, disposable. Many times, we as parents feel like we have no say in what happens to our child, especially in a school setting. We feel helpless all the time. Sometimes, we’re just happy to survive another day, month, year.

But I’d like to tell my subconscious that it’s all okay, I’m already aware of that. I don’t need to dream about such things, please and thank you.

 

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