Recently Noelle has been sort-of concerned with having bad dreams at night, reassuring herself that she can come into our room if she has one. Yesterday morning when we went into her room to wake her up for camp, she whimpered and shook slightly just before opening her eyes. She stayed very still and tears started leaking out of her eyes and across her cheeks.
"Noelle-bear, did you have a bad dream?"
She nodded slightly, still unwilling to unclench her body. I sat on her bed at rubbed her back and her hair doing the soothing thing that I'm so not good at: "It's okay baby, it was just a dream. It's over now and everything is okay." Lather, rinse, repeat.
"Would you like to talk about it?"
She shook her head no and I let it drop. We went about our morning routine, though carefully as the minefield was primed to explode at the slightest provocation (there is a reason that I refer to her on the Twitter as 'DQ - Drama Queen'). She was in the middle of brushing her teeth when she stopped and turned to me.
"I want to tell you about my dream."
"Okay, baby; I'm listening."
"I was eating an ice cream cone and someone walked up, took it out of my hand and threw it in the trash!" And with that, her little lip quivered and the tears and sobbing took over. I wrapped my arms tight around her and stroked her hair, holding her and let her cry herself out. "Oh honey, that was such a mean thing to do. I would be very upset too."
Then I ended up almost falling over because I have the grace of a drunk water buffalo and she started laughing. She had processed it, it was over and we were ready to face the day.
If that is the worst thing that her five-and-a-half year old brain can come up with, I count myself very fortunate indeed.