I'm a hard core dreamer---I have dreams every night that I remember. But I don't write about them much, having learned that most people aren't really interested in hearing other people's dreams! Also, for whatever reason, I rarely dream about my kids. It always confuses me as to why, but in my dreams it's usually high school or college or some undefined place or time. Last night, however, I had a dream about Janey, and it has me thinking.
In the dream, I was taking Janey to visit a college. Janey was her same age as now, six. The college was an engineering one. Janey was as she really is, autistic. I had an interview with the president of the college, a woman that while being very polite, let me know that it was quite unusual to take a six year old with autism to seriously visit an exclusive college. I had the boys with me, and she pointedly asked why I wasn't taking THEM to the college, which would make a lot more sense. I had an answer ready for her. I said it was vitally important to have a concrete goal for Janey, so I could make everything I did with her work toward that goal, and my goal was for her to go to college to be an engineer.
I wonder what, if any, meaning the dream had. I don't think Janey will ever go to college. I am not working on that as a goal. But do I need a goal for Janey, a vision of what I want for her, for her future? I don't think that way, usually. I don't have goals for the boys, besides kind of vague ones that they be self-supporting and give me some grandchildren maybe, but I trust them to make their own goals. Janey isn't likely to do that.
So what are my goals, if I were to make some? Well, I'd like her to learn to read. That's a big one for me. I'd like her to learn enough self-help skills that she take basic care of herself, whether she someday lives in a group home or on her own or, most likely, with us. I'd like her to learn to talk well enough to clearly tell us how her life is going, so I won't worry constantly about what happens when she isn't with us. I'd like her to have an interest that makes her happy, whatever that might be---swimming, music, books, art, knitting, collecting some knick-knacks, whatever. And how can I work on those goals? I guess---keep trying to teach pre-reading skills. Keep working on things like dressing and meals (those are her stronger points, which is nice). Work on giving her the words to tell us about her life. Encourage the things she shows an interest in.
But is that what the dream meant? I don't know if dreams are just random, but this one felt like it meant SOMETHING. Maybe a reminder that she is only six, and I don't need to worry about her in the future at a college age right now? Maybe that I should be focusing more on goals for the boys? Maybe (I'm daytime dreaming here) that she has some hidden abilities and some day WILL go to college)? Who knows?
I promise---no more dream blog entries for a year or so!