I don't dream much about Janey. I don't dream much about my kids at all, or my current life, although I dream all night every night. In my dreams, I've gone to high school and college about a thousand times over, sometimes vaguely aware that I am redoing an experience. But the last 20 years of my life are barely there in my dream world---I have no idea why. Last night, though, I had a dream about Janey, and it struck me in how mildly it changed reality. I am dreaming small lately.
In the dream, I took Janey to a very upscale kids clothing store. I wanted to get her some fancy clothes for a party. I held her hand constantly, as I would do in real life, and we looked at the rather meager selections the store had. I noticed there was an upstairs, and so we went up there. It was in the form of a loft, completely open to the downstairs with no railing or anything, but that didn't seem to bother me. I found some promising looking clothes, and Janey found a dollhouse and some play teacups. There was a slightly older girl there who started playing with Janey, and so I let my guard down. So much so that when somehow my parents showed up and needed me to walk about a block away to help them with something, I just left Janey there. When I got back, she was fine, but all dirty and without her shoes. She said to me "We went out to play in a meadow" Even in the dream, I realized that was a pretty great sentence from her, and praised her for it. And that was it, except for a long drawn out part of looking for her shoes and the nasty shopkeeper being annoyed I had lost them.
And I wonder---why don't I go all out in dreams? Why isn't Janey talking fluently, not autistic at all? The Janey in this dream was mostly the real Janey, just a better talker, and even then, the dream world knew that was an unusually good utterance. Of course, there's no answer to those questions. Nobody understands dreams. But if there was a meaning, I'd say it was one of acceptance. Janey isn't going to change drastically. The little changes are what I hope for now, the little triumphs. They make me happy. Her autism is a basic part of her, even in my dreams.