Last night I had a dream. It started out as one of those no-rhyme-or-reason kind of dreams in which you are meandering from scene to scene, but really have no idea what the heck you are doing there or why you are speaking to people you don’t even know. This meandering went on for quite a while when suddenly I find myself with my son in a middle of a great big department store. I’m paying for something at the register when I realize that Henry has managed to get onto a very steep escalator that is going up. I start to feel flustered and yell to my son to come down. Finally, I just leave everything at the counter and go after him, but since this is a dream and dreams have a way of taking a funny turn when I get to the escalator it is no longer going up; instead it’s going down and I have no way of going after my son.
To say that my anxiety level goes up during this part of the dream is an understatement. I’m desperately running around trying to find the nearest escalator that will take me up and after looking around for what seems like an eternity someone finally tells me that I have to leave the building and come in again through another entrance (what the heck?! I’m beginning to feel like I’m in the movie Inception). So I run as fast as I can out of the building getting farther and farther away from my son and reënter it through another entrance, finally finding the escalator that is going up. As I’m nearing the landing I see a crowd of people. Too many people and wonder, “how am I going to find a 3 feet tall toddler in the midst of all these people?” However, I catch my breath as I get a glimpse of my son’s stuffed animal, Good Night Moon. That stuffed bunny leads me right to my son and the last thing I remember is grabbing Henry in a huge embrace and feeling immense, overwhelming relief.

When I wake up the morning light is just beginning to come through my window. I look to my side and see that my husband is sleeping soundly and then look to the foot of the bed and see my son, breathing heavily from his cold, but none-the-less sleeping peacefully as well (my son has a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night and crawl into bed with us. We’re working on this). I breathe a huge sigh of relief that the escalator incident was just a dream, but for some reason I couldn’t let go of it just yet. My thoughts then turn to the parents that lost their children in Sandy Hook. How many of them are waking up (if they can sleep at all) wishing that their nightmare was just a dream? Fast forward to the afternoon when I’m getting ready to take Henry to the library. Coats and hats are on and he has a few of his stuffed animal “friends” under his arm. I ask him if he would like to take Good Night Moon with him (For my son Good Night Moon is his best friend and he does not go anywhere without him). He says “no” that Good Night Moon will stay home (I know this is because a few days before he almost lost his little furry stuffed animal friend so ever since then he hasn’t been taking him out too much). “Okay,” I say to Henry, “let’s just place him on the couch so that he can wait for you there.” “No,” says my son, “put him there” he says pointing to my bookshelf. Hmm, that’s interesting because he’s never asked to place anything on that particular bookshelf least of all his “best friend”. I take Good Night Moon and place him on one of the shelves. “No” says Henry pointing to the last shelf, “there.” Taking Good Night Moon I place him on the top shelf and it did not escape me that I was placing him next to my Vision of Angels book. A book that he’s never paid attention to even though it’s been in the same spot since he’s been born. After placing the bunny next to the book my son seems pleased and is ready to go to the library.
Whether it’s coincidence or a message from above I will never know, but when I placed Henry’s favorite stuffed animal next to that book of angels I couldn’t help but think back to the dream from that morning. In my dream Good Night Moon led me back to my son and now my son wanted him next to that book. Perhaps it was not a fluke, but a message of some sort that Henry has an angel looking after him and that ultimately all children have angels looking after them. At that moment I felt grateful that perhaps something stronger, more powerful and more graceful was watching over my child and that comforted me, but I couldn’t get that image of Henry going up on that escalator out of my mind. And tonight it hit me. In my dream Henry represented all children, but especially the children of the tragedy in Sandy Hook and that escalator going down made me feel like a parent that is desperately trying to get to his child, but can’t. It’s a powerless, helpless feeling that no parent should ever have to endure. I finally started to cry (sob really) because in placing Good Night Moon next to a book of angels I hope that the message from above was that these beloved, precious children are in a higher place. Call it Heaven. Call it whatever you’d like, but that something more holy is watching over them.
I for one, even though I wouldn’t call myself very religious per se do believe in a higher power and do believe that as a nation, a culture and as a people we need to rise above ourselves and really make our country a safer place for our children. Twenty young innocent lives along with those trying to protect them were just massacred in a matter of minutes. We cannot in good conscience and faith continue to allow this. If what happened at Sandy Hook isn’t a huge wake up call then by God I don’t know what is, but the way I see it the world and something bigger than us is watching to see what we will do, as a nation and as a people. We need to rise to our humanity and a higher level of consciousness. We need to enact positive change through our laws. If we do not then I don’t know how we can honestly look our children in the eye and say we did everything in our power to prevent another tragedy like Sandy Hook (and the tragedies before this) from happening again. And no one is watching us as closely or as intently than our children.