Ever has nightmares that wake her up in the night and leave her sweaty and screaming.
It started happening a few months ago when day light savings robbed us of sunlight. That thing is a beast of no compassion. It just flops everything on its head every six months without looking back.
After our home remedies failed, we reached out to our friends and family educated in therapy and child psychology. I am so grateful for our pool of professionals. They are so generous with our (daily) questions.
One tactic we learned to employ with Ever is to talk about and work through her nightmares during the day, and in doing so, we change the circumstances so that in her cognizant state, she was no longer a helpless victim. In our daytime recreation, Ever became a super hero, instantly armed with whatever weapon or super power she chose to possess.
For instance: when those crazy red bugs that seep out of the humidifier come to bite her, she could have a massive wind machine at her disposal--sending those awful things into the blackness of outer outer space, never to return again.
And so, every day we talk about all the tactics we can use in our dreams to fight the demons of the night. And every night she does a little better. We have less nightmares than we did before.
A few days ago she came to me and said, "Mom, when the nightmares come to get me in my dreams I'm going to roar, like this: ROAR!" and her face went red and her hands balled up and shot behind her back like she was an Alpine skier headed rapidly down a steep slope.
Then, moments later, she used it on her pesky brother, who likes to tackle her from behind (90% of the time she enjoys it) when she's wrapped up in her silky blanket. And from that point on, when words don't come out fast enough to explain her position, she just ROARS.
(Thank you Katy Perry.)
And I every time I hear it, I think You roar Ever, roar real loud. You roar every time you feel bullied or ignored or disrespected. You roar now when you are three, and you keep roaring when you are nineteen and you roar through the nightmares that sometimes come true. Roar today and never stop.
I know it sounds so angsty, but honestly, I wish I would've started roaring earlier myself. She's a hopeful cause, my superhero Ever Jane.