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“If It Is Dark, Just Turn Your Head + I’ll Be There”
Child will protect us from things that go bump
Things Kina finds exciting these days: tents, sleep, and flashlights. Thing she asks us to do on a regular basis: pretend to sleep in a tent with a flashlight, which she turns off so that the space under the comforter is pitch black. I cannot emphasize enough how comforting it is to have your three-year-old child reassure you that, though it is dark right now, everything will be okay because she is there next to you. It is equally hard to overstate how painfully blinding a flashlight is when turned on directly in front of your fully-dilated pupils.
“I See Things In My Head When I’m Sleeping”
I cannot remember what it was like when I first realized I could dream, but it is a classic gift of parenthood to watch your child go through it. Kina has been trying to explain the experience of dreaming to us for a few weeks now, always as some variation on the idea of things in her head when she is sleeping. It’s always something from the day or two before the dream, and often some novel experience she’s had, played out in a slightly different way. We met her friend Futura and her family at Governor’s Island on Saturday, and we all piled onto bikes with the kids on the back. As we rode, they made faces at each other, joking as we sped past each other on long looping circuits of the island. In her dream, they’re on the island together, riding bikes all day. Are we even there? When adults dream they can fly, it’s our moment to be unbounded and still in control. For little kids, that sense of control and liberty can be as simple as dreaming of a day with your friend, riding a bike wherever you want to. I miss dreams like that.