Zebra Dreams

Every once in a while, after too many nights of staying up too late and then kicking myself in the morning, I surrender to the exhaustion and nap while Owen naps.  I’m not sure if it’s having the king sized bed to myself or the fact that when I finally do take a nap, I’m a walking zombie, but those naps always present the most vivid dreams.

A few weeks back, my dream that started with me swinging on the front porch of a friend (of the online variety) enjoying iced tea (I hate iced tea) and suddenly, one by one, my teeth started getting loose and falling out.  Neither of us were overly alarmed by my toothless self, but we both agreed I should get to a dentist.  She gave me directions to the dentist that was s few blocks away which, in dream-like fashion, turned into a long winding road through a lush mountain.  I saw something on the side of the road and as I got closer, I realized it was a tiger sleeping along the road.  A little further along I saw a zebra and then I noticed more zebras hanging from a tree.  If you’ve ever watched Sound of Music when Georg von Trapp was surprised to see his children hanging from the trees – it was a lot like that, but these were zebras.

At this point in the dream, Owen woke me.  I was happy to feel all my teeth in my mouth, but was really puzzled by the bizarre dream that I so vividly experienced.  A friend looked up “teeth falling out” on a dream website.  I giggled to hear that it was often attributed about insecurities with your appearances.  If you’ll remember, the nap was a result of not enough sleep and just that morning I had serious fear that Clinton and Stacy from What not to Wear were going to jump out at me after dropping Kellen off at school in the yoga pants and t-shirt that I wore to bed and Ugg slippers on my feet.

I know, you’re reading this and wondering where is all this is going and I am getting there…

Like in the dream, it wasn’t my teeth falling out that startled me, It was the zebras that I couldn’t get out of my head.  Curious, I used the same dream website and looked it up.  And here is what it said:


I don’t know that I believe in dream psychology or not, but those words on that website summed up my life.  The life of a mom to a preemie child.

How many of us have said that the year their child was born was the most difficult in our life?  At the same time, there is also so much joy and honor to having met so many amazing babies that fought with blind faith.  Some lost their fight, but they touched so many of us in such a short time that those of us who know (of) them are better people for it.

And then there are the challenges after leaving the NICU.  The breathing treatments,  doctor visits, the backward steps, the hours of therapy, the slow progress.  At the same time, man oh man, that progress is the most beautiful thing in the world.  When you watch your child’s development through a magnifying glass, there is not a milestone that is missed.  How lucky are we to experience the precise understanding that we see a miracle every single day?

My favorite part of the dream?  My zebras were swinging in the trees.  That has significance to me in two ways,

1)  What a great reminder to enjoy the journey.  Don’t just admire the pretty trees.  Take a swing in them every once in a while.

2)  Whoever said zebras can’t climb trees never knew what it was like to have a dream.  My little zebras can do anything they want to dream.  As their mama tiger, it’s my job to show them.

You can’t deny the unique beauty of a zebra.

© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster