Last night, I dreamed about my mother.
I decided to blog about the dream because this month, YA Outside the Lines is blogging about TIME.
What's the connection?
I...well, I'm not entirely sure, which is why I thought of blogging about it.
I suppose I should share the dream first. It's Christmas time and I am a pretty decent baker, if I do say so myself. I learned from my mother. I have incredibly happy memories of baking with her over the years. When I was little, she'd roll out dough and I'd place the cookie cutters just so to make sure we used every little bit. I'd spent the past weekend making various doughs and popping them into the freezer for later baking, so I suppose those memories bubbled in the back of my brain.
Last night, I dreamed I was little again and Mom and I were making 'hand cookies.' This was her creation... she'd roll out dough and I'd put my hand on top, which she'd trace with a pastry wheel and then cut out. We'd bake each hand and then 'paint' the nails with various decorations. We made boatloads of Italian struffoli in assembly line fashion, hand-dip the almond cookies into a chocolate coating, and slice up dozens of Rainbow Cookies (Venetians). After the cookies, it was on to cheesecake topped with cherries. Our Christmas dessert table looked like a Viennese table at a wedding.
I woke up this morning feeling all the emotions.
All. The. Emotions.
Happy because Mom visited me in a dream, and sad that it was just a dream. Full of grief because it felt like losing her all over again.
Warm because that's how Christmas baking always makes me feel... like a hug you can taste. Scared because I'm not a little girl anymore and have far fewer years ahead of me than I do behind me.
Scared because when I was little, the only things that scared me were also little... Now the things that scare me are too huge to look at.
Happy because my Mom is with me in every sift of flour, every cracked egg, every ding of the oven timer, and every gasp of pleasure when one of her recipes reaches a taste bud.
You know, Young Adult fiction is often criticized for having absent parents. After this dream about my mom, I went back and examined all six of my published novels. Every one of them has a piece of her in some form -- even when I wrote an absent parent. I think I've been subconsciously making sure I don't forget her.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a healthy new year to all.