15 Jun 2008 8 am eastern

Number Nine

Early this morning, in my last deep sleep, I was tormented by a nightmare concerning our three-year-old. In my dream, she was chasing some happy bauble. Call it a big floating bubble filled with sunshine. The bubble blew out of the park. She ran after it. I ran after her.

The bubble floated above a big street filled with speeding cars. I called her name and shouted stop, but she did not hear me or would not listen. Giggling and burbling, all young enthusiasm for the chase, she ran into the street of speeding cars. I ran into it after her.

The pursuit continued, block after block. The oblivious bubble. The excited child, dashing into street after street of speeding cars. Me behind, never able to catch up, never able to protect her, never able to make her stop.

Happy Father’s Day.

[tags]dreams, family, glamorous, parenting[/tags]

Filed under: dreams, family, glamorous, parenting

21 Responses to “Number Nine”

  1. bellalace said on

    I know that all dads, all caring and nurturing parents, have had frightening dreams of trying to protect their children. I would be more concerned if they didn’t. This is part of raising a child who is completely dependent on us for safety. If we raise them “right”, they eventually take over the responsibility of their own safety.

    But the caring and nurturing never stops and I doubt these concerned dreams stop either. Hopefully they just subside and leave the realm of nightmare.

    As conscientious as you seem, I am sure you are doing just fine raising your young’un.

  2. bellalace said on

    Oh, and Happy Dad’s Day. It’ll be a good one.

  3. Shane said on

    To see bubbles in your dreams, represent merriment, fun, and childhood joys. It may also symbolize wishes or unrealistic expectations. In deciphering this dream symbol, consider also the phrase of “bursting one’s bubble”.

    That’s according to dreammoods.com.

    Happy Father’s day to you too!

  4. Peter Urban said on

    We always fear to loose what we love them most. I can’t imagine what it would be like having a child. If I am lucky I might find out at some point.

    Happy fathers day!

  5. RayMcK said on

    #9. Week long school trip. Any connection?

    Rhetorical question. I’ll bet money there is ; )

  6. Jonathan Dobres said on

    Eh. Sounds like a normal, even healthy, dream for the father of a young girl to have.

    @Shane, One should always be careful about grabbing dream symbolism off the internet (or anywhere else). The meaning is always personal to the dreamer’s life, assuming you’re the sort of person who goes in for dream symbolism to begin with. And sometimes, as Freud said, a bubble is just a bubble.

  7. Francis Shephard said on

    Great to see you love your daughter so much. Children definitely have the special ability to make us see the world afresh. A world filled with dangers!
    For a while I’d see every catastrophe possible, for any child in my care. Then I started to relax a bit, then my nephew broke both his arms in one fall, then I saw disaster everywhere again. The round about of child accident adrenaline.
    Sleep well.

  8. Shane said on

    @Jonathan – My comment was tongue-in-cheek. I completely agree with you about grabbing dream interpretations from the internet, or anywhere else for that matter.

  9. Denny said on

    Happy Father’s Day

  10. Daniel Stout said on

    Wasn’t that an episode of The Prisoner?

  11. Oliver said on

    I know that all dads, all caring and nurturing parents, have had frightening dreams of trying to protect their children. I would be more concerned if they didn’t.

    Thanks. Made my day. Had my last frightening dream when I took a shower earlier this day and heard a child screaming. It was not my three-year-old daughter.

    You get to know and understand your parents much better when you’re a father or a mum.

    There is no free lunch. So much joy they bring (to say the least), so much you are into trouble when you have kids. Call me nut. I would never want to go back. Happy Father’s day!

  12. Andrew Boardman said on

    Very interesting. Related, we all watched The Red Balloon together on DVD yesterday, on Father’s Day. It was powerful, but nowhere near as stirring as when I saw it in fifth and sixth grade in Pennsylvania, where the whirring of the 16mm projector mixed with classroom childhood angst about loss and violence. Definitely worth a viewing, at any age.

  13. Foster said on

    I’ve heard it said that to be a parent is to forever have your heart walk outside your body. It’s true.

    This dream says it all.

  14. Michael Nolan said on

    The worry never stops. My son—who you’ve met—is now 21. Every time he’s on the road, whether from our house back to his apartment, or driving a long distance, I worry. Partly because he has such a heavy foot on the gas, partly because I love him so much.

  15. Krystyn said on

    Crazy. Those sort of dreams always seem more “real” then other dreams, don’t they? I’ve gotten up many times in the middle of the night to kiss foreheads after those… I distinctly remember one that made me pick up my little guy and bring him into my bed for the rest of the night.

    I love Foster’s comment… that’s SO true.

  16. thebrisbaneline by Evan Skuthorpe said on

    I’ve not been able to sleep of late. My flat gets rather warm at night and I’m constantly having surreal dreams based on the days events and wild imaginations.

  17. Eyestrain said on

    Something that might help alleviate any lingering worries you have over this kind of dream is the idea in dream analysis that the people you encounter are not actually those people, rather, they are parts of yourself. For example, if you dream you’re talking with your mother and the fonz, it’s dealing with the parts of you that those two people represent.
    In dreams, people are representations of the emotion or feeling you experience regarding that person. So, let’s say my mother to me symbolizes competence and warmth, and Fonzie represents social aptitude. The dream becomes less premonition and more a barometer for what’s going on in my subconscious. In that example, it might mean i’m in a period of trying very hard to become more competent in social situations. It depends on what the people are doing, too, so that gets complicated.

    It could be this dream was less about your daughter and more about some part of you that you really want to protect, feel it’s leaving you behind, and in danger of being destroyed.

    Sorry for the long rambling comment, I just have a strong interest in dream analysis and thought you might be interested, too.

    Hope you had a terrific father’s day with your little girl.

  18. Ken Nickless said on

    Can you remember what you were doing with your little girl on the day prior to the nightmare?

  19. Adrian said on

    These sorts of dreams happen to me most nights. They often involve finding myself in improbable locations with equally unlikely danger imminent. I have to quickly work out how to save my child before a bizarre and often grisly death befalls him. Strangely, my wife never has these dreams.

  20. Adrian said on


    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar dude.

  21. handbags said on

    That said, the photos and quotes are very compelling, especially for those of us who have shopped at the Housing Works stores have not had their mission explained to us in that process.

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