I’m always having a nightmare. Having a nightmare trying to juggle work and Tom and writing the book, having a nightmare because I forgot to pay dinner money and am now in arrears, having a nightmare because slugs keep coming into the house.
Of course, none of this stuff is as bad as a real nightmare. You know; the kind where you’re crying out but no one can hear, or trying to run away but you’re stuck fast. The kind where you wake up in cold sweat, so frightened that you don’t even want to open your eyes, nevermind venture out of your bed and across a dark landing.
Tom has been getting lots of nightmares lately. I’m hoping it’s just a phase, perhaps fuelled by all that ghoulish imagery that was knocking about last weekend. I remember how frightening that walk across the landing was and I want to make him feel as safe as I possibly can. He came into my room the other night.
“Mum, I had a nightmare.”
“What do you mean, you had a nightmare? It’s the morning. Go downstairs and put the telly on.”
It felt like the morning, anyway. He’s always getting up at six these days.
“Mum!” He wailed up the stairs, “The telly won’t work.”
“Wha?” I grabbed my phone off the bedside table. It was actually 3.16.
“Oh come here, I’m so sorry.”
I leaned over in my sleepy stupor, tried to kiss him and got a mouthful of eyelashes and a taste of his tears.
“I’m so sorry I told you to go downstairs,” I said, “tell me what happened.”
He gave me a quick synopsis of the dream and the nasty-sounding characters and we talked about how there was no way any of it could possibly be real, then had a big cuddle and tucked him back into his own bed.
On Friday, I’d invited Anna to come and see the Lighting the Legend Parade at Ordsall Hall. Tom and I were both tired because of the lack of sleep and it was tempting to stay in out of the rain. We wrapped up and dragged ourselves out and we were so glad we did.
I still can’t quite believe Ordsall Hall, standing there amongst the council flats and factories. It was the perfect setting for a beautiful parade of lanterns and a brilliant outdoor theatre piece. The smell of crushed grass was so strong that it could have been June – and the sense of community spirit was uplifting. It all ended with a spectacular fireworks display to Madness’ Our House (one of Tom’s favourites) and Joey Ramone’s What a Wonderful World.
“That was amazing,” Tom said, from atop Anna’s shoulders, smiling wider than he had all week, “I fink to myself what a wonderful wor-or-orld.”
“That was the song on your cot mobile when you were a baby,” I said at bedtime, “Well, not that version, anyway.”
“It’s true though, it is actually a wonderful world, isn’t it?”
And there were no nightmares that night.