I woke up at 4:30 yesterday morning, coming right out of the worst dream of my life. Â It was a dream in which something awful happened to one of my boys, and I don’t even want to go into detail, because it was so Â terrible. Â It took me a long time to fall asleep again after that, and all morning I felt on edge, haunted by the images that had come at me in my sleep.
It made me think, not for the first time, about how there is a part of me that can never rest, now that I’m a parent. Â I’m far more vulnerable than I ever was before. Â Maternal love is a wonderful and beautiful thing, but it also means that you are open to being hurt to an extent you can’t fathom before those kids come along. Â And how do we parents handle that? Â How do we keep those fears from overwhelming us?
I try to pray, and trust in God, but there are days — like today — when it is hard to find that comfort in my own mind. Â One thing that helped me today Â was music. Â When I got to my classroom early this morning, I listened to this beautiful setting of Psalm 23, and it helped blunt the edges of my fear. Â (It helps that it’s the theme music for the British show The Vicar of Dibley, which is one of the funniest Britcoms out there. Â Lots of positive associations.)
When I listened to it a few times, I could relax and move beyond that vivid, visceral reaction to my nightmare. Â It was as if the music could reach into all the dark corners, into the places that my own words Â and thoughts couldn’t.
Music as prayer: I believe it. Â And need it.