I have had recurring dreams over the years where I come upon a newborn baby that I had apparently lost or forgotten, realized they hadn’t been fed or changed in days, and quickly scoop them up, hoping no one notices that I have been a very neglectful mother. Apparently I had recently delivered a new baby, got too busy, set him somewhere and forgot.
I have had other dreams where I find the toddler versions of my kids, and often they have been forgotten, too. So much emotion wells up in these dreams. How could I have ever forgotton one of these precious ones?
Since dreams have their own counterparts in reality, I believe that I dream these dreams because in the far recesses of my mind I feel that my children are lost. Understand, they are very much alive and well, living wonderful lives as adults. I see them often, and cherish my relationship with them. But the two year old versions of themselves are gone, and doggone it, I have no idea when it happened! How could all of those days and weeks and months and years have slipped away so silently without anyone noticing? Didn’t we cheer each milestone along the way? Did we not celebrate each accomplishment they made, each skill mastered, each award earned?
Since I love each one of my children huge, I would never trade them for anything. And since there is no option of having their two or three year old selves back again, I do have a choice.
I can cherish yesterday, yet live today. It is yesterday's stories that keep these little people alive in our hearts. It is in the telling of those silly stories together that makes all of those days make sense today.
The lost children are not really lost at all. They are still here. They just live in our hearts and in our memories now. And it is in the telling and re-telling of the stories that we get to see them again.