Hot Dogs and Birdie Kisses
We pay attention when our four-year-old mentions details about his dreams.
This is, in part, because when he was three, he described a recurring figure—“smiley face”—that would crash any dream he was in and scare the crap out of him. Very odd, almost horrific, to hear him describe how “smiley face came in through the window” or “smiley face was under the bed.” It seemed he could have a dream about chocolate chip cookies on a mild summer day, and smiley face would crash the scene and wake him up.
My wife and I had some luck in treating smiley face through prayer. Everett would pray that God sends a knight or some other sword-wielding hero into his dream to keep him safe. It worked for a week, and we felt like the characters must have felt in the movie Inception when they design the architecture of different dream sequences. We went overboard, no doubt, when we asked him to dream of eating a new fruit with dinner. He’s still bananas or bust.
I only write this to prove to you that when Everett mentions dreams, they are meaningful. It’s not often he can remember them when asked. He rarely volunteers any information either. And if he does, it’s usually not coherent, and it begins to resemble a montage of recently-viewed movie scenes.
“It started on a pirate ship, and then and then, the Bergens came for the Trolls and CRASH ate everybody up, but the Big Friendly Giant got the queen to send a huge army, and King Arthur battled them.”
Anything is better than smiley face—whatever that was creeped us out, in a clown from Stephen King’s It type of way.
So when Everett began a morning conversation with, “Geeba was in my dream last night,” we were sure to take notice.
Geeba is Miranda’s grandmother who passed away a month ago Tuesday. Everett joined us for the funeral and family get-togethers that celebrated her life. I’ve never heard Everett describe a person in his dream. It’s always movie characters, or twisted clown-like figures. He had us hooked. We sipped our coffees. Miranda asked him what happened.
“She fed me a hot dog,” he said. “And gave me birdie kisses.”
Miranda got the chills—those chills with goose bumps and raised arm hair. He didn’t mention anything else about the dream. Peter Pan didn’t crash the scene with the Lost Boys. It was just Everett and his Geeba—a hot dog and birdie kisses.
I understand there are two types of ways to analyze a dream in modern psychology.
The Freudian analysis looks backward. Dreams act in a retrospective way. They reveal repressed desires and guilty consciences. The Jungian analysis (which I prefer—far less anxiety) says dreams look forward. They are prospective. The dream, interpreted correctly, is a telling of the future, of what is to come.
Then there’s my four year old, eating a hot dog with his great-grandmother, whose spirit left her body some three weeks ago.
File that one under awesome.
You should know that hot dogs and birdie kisses summarize the spirit of his Geeba.
The true matriarch of my wife’s family, her main concern, other than the family staying close whatever differences arise, was everybody’s comfort. I’ve never left her house without stomach pains from over-eating. She made sure every get together was a feast. And every feast, an outpour of affection—hence the birdie kisses.
My point is that this dream was not about Everett’s imagination. If it were, Geeba would have flown in wearing Superman’s cape. No. This dream was about the spirit of Geeba, visiting with Everett while he slept.
I’ve never been more certain that death is just an entrance into a new life. A new life that’s here and now, with us in our dreams and revelations. If you felt that tingle while reading this post, consider it a preview.
You may have reason to doubt the invisible movements of the soul in this high-tech, we’ve-got-it-all-proved, see-it-to-believe-it world, but that was Everett’s Geeba—alive and well—with him that night.
His dream was likely longer. Maybe she was the one who picked up a sword and slew smiley face forever. She always did want to protect, comfort, and, above all, love her family.