Last night as I was getting Ri to bed, I saw him wipe his eyes… silently.
Me: What happened, baby? Are you crying?
Ri: (In a teary voice) I don’t want to sleep, Mama.
Me: Why? What’s wrong?
Ri: If I close my eyes and sleep, I will get bad dreams. I don’t like bad dreams. (He started crying)
Me: (holding him close to me, I start talking to him softly) You won’t get bad dreams babu, you have had a happy day today, right? We had so much fun and you watched you favourite movie (Wreck it Ralph)... And dreams are not real. And mama is sleeping right here, next to you. Just cuddle up to me if you feel scared. Okay.
Ri: (Not convinced) I don’t like bad dreams, Mama.
Me: Okay. Let me kiss you on your eyes now and take away all your bad dreams from you. (I kissed his eyes) and now I will give you all my happy dreams. Okay? You won’t get any more bad dreams.
Ri nodded his head and went off to sleep… within seconds.
But the conversation had me disturbed all night.
This morning when he woke up, the first thing I asked –
Me: Did you sleep well, Ri? No bad dreams right?
He grinned, shook his head and hugged me.
Ri: You really took away the bad dreams from my eyes na, Mama?
Me: I did, baby.
Ri: I will not get bad dreams again.
Me: I don’t think so. J
Ri: But, Mama, what if you get my bad dreams now?
Me: That’s okay.
Ri: (after thinking for a while) Mama, If you get my bad dreams and you feel scared, you can give them back to me.
I hugged him tight and told him that I never want him to have bad dreams again.
I cried a lot in the bathroom later. Here was a little boy of four who cared so much for me, loved me so much that he was willing to face something he really feared, to keep me safe.
I realised that I have spent the last few months worrying, fretting and feeling low because of people who do not give two hoots about how I feel. I have harmed myself and in turn, SSM and Ri, for people and issues that really do not matter. I have been irate and snapped at those who do wish me well.
I cried this morning because I don’t want to cry ever again for those who do not care.
I want to be happy because that is what will keep Ri happy. I want to be happy because he really wants me to be happy. I want to be happy because I want to eliminate all the bad dreams from both our lives… forever.