Last night, Ender woke up several hours after we had put him to bed. We heard his door creak open and a mumbly, worried little voice called out "Mommy?" He came to us and climbed into my lap. After some quiet moments of divine cuddling, he started talking about a spider on a white floor. At first I thought he meant a music video we had just watched with the band's music equipment chords tangled around their studio floor, but as I listened, I realized he was telling me his dream! There was a spider on the white floor, and it was trying to get him, and he was scared.
Poor, sweet little Ender! This is the first time he has ever told us his dream (understanding that's what it was). So Michael and I comforted him, talking about how to pray when you're scared, how spiders don't usually hurt you, and how he can squish them with his feet. Michael carried him back to bed, and we did another miniature version of the bedtime routine; Ender asked specifically for three songs.
Michael and I beamed at each other over Ender's head. It just felt so special, comforting him from a bad dream he'd told us about.
Bad dreams can be so vivid and full of real, raw fear or panic. Sometimes, even when I know I've woken up, I feel trapped in a cocoon of dream logic, which is a rare brand of logic if it's logic at all. I know the dream is only a dream, but the nightmare of it is still in full force. I've had to pray many times to get out of those nightmare cocoons!
I'm so glad we were awake when Ender needed us. It took me a while to fall asleep when I imagined him waking up again to a dark, quiet house, having to figure out that we were by then in bed, having to stumble through the house alone with a nightmare still fresh in his mind. Sweet Ender. I hope he remembers that is a time he can pray for help and comfort.