When I fully came into consciousness and realized that no amount of sleep would make her walk in reality, I began to get a better sense of how her parents feel. Do they have these dreams as well? Of watching their strong daughter stand up and walk? Of everything developing as it does for other children? My dream haunted me throughout the day, with the feeling of hope and elation I felt in those few seconds of waking before I was able to distinguish between reality and fantasy. She's not my own child- she's one of many I work with on a daily basis- what would those dreams do to me if she was, in fact, my own? If my life centered around her?
Not being a parent myself I work hard to try to understand where parents are coming from when they are dealing with their young child's developmental delays. I don't think any amount of rational thinking would bring me to know the desperate desire of hope that was found from that dream- a desire I can only imagine is 100 times stronger and greater in your own child.
I teach in a self contained preschool classroom for children with special needs and I totally understand about the dream thing...I have often dreamed my little guy with shaken baby syndrome was able to run with his classmates or that my kids with autism and cerebral palsy who are non-verbal all of a sudden were able to talk. There is nothing like the excitement and joy you feel in that dream or the huge sadness you wake up feeling when you realize it was a dream. What I try to remind myself on these days is that the fact that I am dreaming these things for my kids means that I have giant hopes for their futures and know that they are not limited by their different needs and that those dreams remind us how to relate in a very small way to our families that gen. ed teachers don't get to experience. I hope I never lose those dreams, because if I do, it is time for me to retire.
When I taught kids w/PD, they showed up all the time in my dreams, rising from their wheelchairs, or suddenly propelling their own wheelchairs. Also the non-verbal kids became verbal.
Funny--now that I teach ESL, my students never become fluent in English in my dreams!
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