Dreams and illusions

I don't usually dream. Mainly because I am too tired to dream. However, the night before last I had a very vivid dream. We had moved to the 20th floor of a block of flats which had sliding full-length windows all around it and no balcony. I was alone with three excited children determined to open the windows. Typical. I never dream and when I do it's something horribly worrying. The other one I keep having is of one of the kids falling off a boat and by the time I have got it to stop or have jumped off they are hopelessly lost under the waves miles away and I can't find them and I know they are dead. I am sure I had some really good dreams when I was young. My second daughter's dreams always look very entertaining. She laughs out loud in the middle of them. Yesterday I broke the bad news to my oldest daughter [aged 9] that Santa is, in fact, my partner and me. I only did this because she has been testing the waters and I have been very evasive. She made the mistake of testing the waters with her gran, saying something along the lines of "Santa doesn't exist, does he?" and my mom thought we had told her so spilled the beans. Hence my quiet chat about Santa. She said it was okay in typical philosophical fashion, but then asked about the tooth fairy. "I'm afraid that's me too," I said. "And the Easter bunny." I thought she would have guessed that one, but she seemed quite surprised that there was no magical rabbit going around dishing out candy. Apparently I had once done paw marks which made it really convincing. Sadly, she wasn't similarly won over by my elaborate fairy writing as Tabitha the tooth fairy. It is quite depressing when illusions are broken. Adult life seems a gradual process of disillusionment. It starts with Santa and it's all downhill from there. It is good, though, to be able to hang on to some illusions, even if only in the privacy of your own head, or lived at second hand. Yesterday we got a guinea pig for my mom, which we will look after when she is away. My oldest daughter was instantly in love. She has been pining for a pet of her own for what seems like centuries. I'm not sure about the poor guinea pig, which was passed around the whole family and may take some adjusting. That kind of devotion is something special. Of course, I will end up cleaning it out, but I don't really care.

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