Many years ago, long before
the Oceans drank Atlantis
I ever wanted kids, I would be inconvenienced by proud parents and their incessant offers of "Do you want to hold the baby?" It was at this time that I had a dream that disturbed me greatly.
I never wanted to hold a baby, little more feed one, clean one, or be puked on by one. I value my sleep and didn't want anything to interfere with it. I was never one to play with dolls, inanimate or animated (now action figures are something totally different!)? If they wanted the baby, they can hold it.
There was a neighbor I had in Colorado who was a successful entrepreneur and heir to some cool toys. He had a specialized tools to do things unimaginable. He and his wife had a tactic that defeated me every time. He would stop by as I was working on a project and tell me that there was an easier way to do it with a tool that he had and that he'd be happy to loan me the tool and show me how to use it.
Minutes later he'd return with something that ran off of 220, explosive charges, or had a really big flame, and his wife and baby daughter. The deal was that I had to hold Emily before I could borrow the tool.
Emily had the biggest blue eyes and always smiled when she saw me. She'd watch me in my yard when I worked in the driveway or outside, smiling the whole time. OK, so maybe she was in on it also.
I'd end up holding her, not feeling comfortable at all. I don't think holding a baby is a natural thing for a man, especially a single man, to do. At least holding someone else’s baby. They seem so fragile with their wobbly heads and spindly little necks. I was never sure if I was holding her in a safe and proper manner.
It's not that I didn't care about her or other children.
Months earlier, from the pound, I picked up a puppy. He looked to be 1/2 German Shepherd and 1/2 Akita. Shortly after reaching adulthood, he snapped, without provocation (I know, I saw it) at the hand of another friends 8 year old daughter. I was very surprised, I had never seen unwarranted aggression in this dog.
Later that day, I was home and talking to my neighbor. I mentioned to him my dogs aggressiveness. He told me that anytime he sees Emily, he snarls at her. The threat was gone that evening. It was hard, but no where near as hard as a possible maiming.
I care about kids, I just prefer to mind my own business while doing it.
In my dream I was sitting in a couch at a party. Normally I don't sit. I feel vulnerable sitting and besides, most furniture is made for the 5-95 percentile and doesn't fit me (the same goes for cars). I'd rather be up, walking around, and watching people.
As they are wont to do, some woman walking by put a baby on my chest.
Out of reflex, I cradled it with my arms and before I could hand it back, she walked away. I wasn't drinking in this dream (I don't think I've ever drank in a dream).
Doing my best impersonation of George, I managed to have the babies head roll at an impossible angle while trying to sit up and support it more. The party went on, no one noticed the small head lolling on a little green and yellow striped shirt except me. It seemed to take a long time for the tiny corpse to turn blue and cold, but not long enough for anyone to notice. Certainly not long enough for me to come up with an explanation of what happened to placate the mother when she returned.
I sat there and waited for the mother to return or for someone to notice.
In this dream I ended up shoving the baby down between the cushions before I got up and walked out of the party and out of my dream. No one noticed.
Accidentally killing a baby was by far the most disturbing part, hiding the act disturbed me since I try to be accountable, and the fact that no one cared or noticed was somewhat disturbing.
While I knew it was a dream, it still disturbed me. My dream medias range from 30 year old 8mm B&W film to holodeck excursions. This dream was holodeck lucid and while I knew it was a dream, it’s vivid images and feelings haunted me. Any apprehension I had about holding babies was only magnified.
It took 12-18 months, maybe less, of having our son, for me to feel confident/capable to taking care of him.
It's strange how the mind works.