Category Archives: Dreams

Chee Charlie: The Fish Who Dreamed Big

Alternative title: The Fish Who Flew Too Close to the Sun.


One year ago today I wrote a Tribute to a Dear Fish Friend, Road Tractor, so it seems only Fitting that I choose today to write Another Fish Eulogy for another Dear Fish Friend: Chee Charlie The Second.

Chee Charlie, Beloved Fish Friend, passed on to the Great Fish Beyond on October 8. His Exact Age was unknown, but he was believed to be at least Five or Six years old, ancient in fish years.

Chee Charlie dreamed Big. In fact, it was believed that his Desire for Big-ness, might have contributed to his Death. He lived in a Small Tank in our living room, but dreamed for Bigger Things. He was made for the Ocean. His desire for Greatness led him to believe he could Be Anything. And so he grew. And grew.

In the Three Years he was a part of our family, he almost Doubled in Size. He was Too Big for his tank. Yet, he continued to Dream Big. Those who knew him were Inspired by his Big Dreams.

Unfortunately, his Largeness would in turn be his Downfall. He was Too Big to survive outside of his Controlled Environment, and when taken out for a Cleaning, he Failed to Thrive in the Alternative Tank in the Short While he was there. When he finally made it back to his Own Home, it was Too Late. His spiral towards Death had Begun.

He is survived by his Friend and Roommate, Katniss, who still lives in the Tank, alone. She is looking forward to getting some New Roommates soon. She also Dreams for Greatness, but Knows When To Quit.

Chee Charlie was Preceded in Death by Road Tractor, who died almost a Year exactly before Chee Charlie. It was Believed that he was Attempting a Finding-Nemo-Type Escape, as he was Found Dead inside the Filter. He was Mourned. He was also Preceded by Chee Charlie the First, and Hobo, who lived Years Ago for Five and Two weeks respectively.

In Life, Chee Charlie loved to Eat. He would Literally Vibrate when someone sat next to His Tank in Anticipation of Eating. In Death, he will be Remembered as The Fish Who Dreamed Big.

Rest In Peace, Chee Charlie The Second. You were Loved.


I Dreamed A Dream

When I was in high school my best friend researched dreams and what they mean for a speech she gave. I don’t remember the specifics but I remember thinking that something must seriously be wrong with me because of the dreams I experience.

I dream a lot. Now, before you say it, I know that we all supposedly dream every night, yeah yeah. But I remember my dreams almost every night. They are so real to me that sometimes I have trouble remembering if something happened in real life, or just in a dream. And when I’m in a dream I never think to myself, I must be dreaming. Instead, I just go on running through glue with my crab hands chasing the man who stole my teeth.

There have been mornings when Tim wakes up to see me glaring at him. I tell him, “I’m really angry with you and I’m trying to remember why. You were a jerk to me in my dream, I think.”

“Let me know when you figure it out,” he says, patting my head and going back to sleep.

And my scary dreams. *shudder* You don’t even want to know. They are psychological nightmares. I won’t tell you about them because some things shouldn’t be written down. I will tell you about the latest one I had though. The details don’t matter but the main point is that I ended up having to perform CPR on both my boys. One made it and the other wasn’t coming back and I woke up before I could find out if he was going to live.

I immediately ran downstairs to make sure both of them were in their beds, still sleeping. I checked their breathing, prayed over them, and went back to bed. I wanted so badly to get back into the dream so I could save my son because I knew that if I didn’t have some sort of conclusion to the whole thing I would be haunted by the dream for days. And I was.

I have recurring dreams too. I think we all do, it’s just a matter of whether we remember them or not. One is the classic dream where I’m trying so hard to run and my legs won’t move fast, like they’re stuck in tar or filled with cement. It’s really important that I run somewhere but I can’t.

Another involves finding money on the ground. Fun, right? Except that the more coins I pick up the more appear everywhere around me. And I can’t pick them up fast enough.

The third recurring dream takes a couple forms. Either I’m on stage in a play or I’m being forced to play the piano for an event. If I’m on stage I forgot to learn all my lines and I’m making them up on the spot. If I’m at the piano, I’m there because no one would believe me when I told them I can’t play the piano, and I’m just mashing the keys hoping it sort of sounds like music.

Go ahead and analyze those, I’ll wait.

Now, I had a point to all this, but I can’t quite remember what it was. I wrote this post in my head last night in bed, but I’m starting to wonder if I was actually awake or not…

All I know is, I definitely need to STOP eating weird things before bed, because weird things happen in my head when I do.

Do you have weird dreams? Recurring dreams? Tell me about it.

Reality Check

“Mom, when are we going to go to outer space?”

What? Where did that question come from?

We were driving home one evening admiring the view of the moon peeking through the clouds when Big Brother popped that question at us as matter-of-factly as if he were asking when we get to go to the zoo. Before I could answer, Tim replied, “Well, that’s something you can do when you’re older. But first you have to do lots of school and training…”

He went on and described what it would look like to train to be an astronaut. I was glad he answered before I did. I almost told my son that we don’t get to go to the moon. That’s not something normal people do. I really admired the way his daddy answered him truthfully without crushing him with the weight of reality.

Reality is the worst sometimes, isn’t it? When I was first married I remember one afternoon as I struggled up to our 3rd floor apartment with two full baskets of clean laundry just back from the laundromat. I threw the baskets down on the floor and rejoiced that I was done with the laundry. But then, out of somewhere deep inside my soul, I told myself that I would just have to do it again in two weeks (oh to have those days back when we only had two people to wash for!). And not only that, but again after that, and again for the rest of my life. I almost cried.

I want my kids to hold on to their innocence (a healthy innocence, not just ignorance) of the world for as long as they can. For instance, whenever we are outside the boys try to catch squirrels and birds. C’mon, brother, let’s catch this one! Mom! Watch us, we’re gonna get this bird.

I won’t be the one to break the news to them that no one can just run up and grab a squirrel, or a robin. I can’t. The hopefulness and optimism in their eyes leads me to believe that they can do anything.

Do you remember when you thought you could do anything, or be anything? You were invincible. The world was at your fingertips just waiting for you to leave your mark. I see it in my kids and I long for that perspective again. I think I can get it back. I think it has something to do with dreaming about visiting the moon, and chasing squirrels. My boys will teach me the way.


This is one of my favorite pictures of Big Brother, taken in April 2011. He’s showing the moon to his daddy.

I Play from Home

The other day my 4 year old asked me when I was going to work. I reminded him that I quit teaching swimming lessons about 6 months ago and I wasn’t going anywhere that day without him and his brother. “Oh right. You don’t work?” he asked.

“I work at home. With you guys,” I replied.

His response to that? “PPhhhhffffttttt!” (That’s a cross between a snort/laugh/scoff)

The raging feminist who lives inside of me doubled over in pain as if she were punched in the kidney (she’s a little dramatic). I laughed along with my son and wondered what was going on inside his brain, and I think I get it.

Daddy leaves to go to work, but looks forward to coming home at the end of the day so that he can play with the boys. Home is where play happens. So of course we don’t work here. We play, we learn, we watch Curious George, we paint, we do puzzles, we create, we eat. But my goodness, we DO NOT work.

2013-10-29 10.56.10

We also play kazoos out of both ends at the same time.

So the next time someone asks me what I do I’m going to simply tell them:

I play from home.