Dream About Dad
(originally published here)
The other night, I had a dream that involved my father and me.
He and I were standing in the kitchen of his house. I was looking for the materials necessary to make myself a cup of coffee. I was not able to find them, and I became very angry.
"What's the matter, Patrick?"
"I want to make some coffee, but you don't have any."
"Oh, I am sorry. Would it cheer you up to watch a movie?"
"Because I think we have one on CD."
"You mean DVD, Dad. And no, I don't want to watch a movie."
"Or we could go out and buy a CD."
"It's not a CD, and I don't want to watch a movie."
"Okay. Well, do you want to play a game?"
"We could go out and buy a new game for you to play on TV."
"They are called video games, Dad, and I have not played video games since I was a kid."
"So do you want one?"
"For the love of God, no, Dad. I don't want a new movie or video game."
The generation gap between my father and me is wide. We have always spoken different languages. He has made efforts through the years to learn to speak my language, and I have always chastised him when he made mistakes. The discourse between my father and me in my dream serves as evidence to this notion.
In recent years, I have become quite a solitary person. I do not keep in touch with many people I know. I suppose that, by the time I do make contact with someone again, I have gone through many changes in personality, interests, possibly even professions. For all the other person knows, I am still the same person I was when he or she last spoke to me. This is how my dad saw me in my dream.
In the dream, Dad could tell that I was upset. He loves me and always wants to me to be happy, so he offered me things that made me happy when I was a child. Such things do not have that effect on me anymore, but he did not know that. He had no way of knowing how much I have changed since then. That is how detached I can be at times. Moreover, he was making an honest effort to communicate with me using terms that were foreign to him yet familiar to me - CD, DVD, video games. Rather than appreciate his attempt, I got mad at him for making simple mistakes.
This dream is a generalized instance of the way I have treated various relatives through the years. I knew that I had not been the best person to them, but having dreamed this, I am able to witness it from a third-person perspective. I understand now how much of an insensitive jerk I was, and I understand the risks my family takes because they simply want to connect with me and make me happy. This knowledge will change the way I interact with my loved ones going forward.
I am about to be a father myself. I intend to give as much loving kindness to my son as Dad gave to me. Thanks to this dream, I am prepared to take the risk.