Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Remember When . . . Dreams Came True?

I've always been intrigued by the stories of dreams--you know the kind. The ones that get recorded, that come true, that sometimes need interpretations. Some are prophetic, some get the title "true," some rewrite the course of history.

The Greco-Persian War was launched because of a series of dreams. Xerxes had announced he was going to war, but then rethought it that night and decided his cautious uncle may be right. He decided to change his mind. That night he had a dream of a handsome, fierce man who taunted him for turning away from the greatness he was called to. He dismissed the dream, announced the change of plans--and the following night dreamed of the man again, whose taunting was seriously disturbing this time. Terrified, he made his uncle come sleep in his bed, wearing his robes, hoping he would be given the same dream. The uncle was (much to his surprise)--and the man was so enraged with him for talking the king out of the war that he came at his eyes with red-hot pokers.

And so, they went to war.

This dream isn't actually in Jewel of Persia, though Xerxes tells Mordecai all about it, and it's a well known fact within the palace. But in editing, I just got to another dream. This one is a woman saying, "I dreamed last night that I will deliver a little girl when we get back to Susa."

Now, it took some courage for me to put this in. Why? Well, for the very reason her husband uses in reply. "I have never heard of a mother dreaming of a girl-child, either in the stories of your people or mine."

The mother replies with my reasoning for including it. "Why would you? History only records such things if the child goes on to greatness, and women matter little . . . you read the history of men. Women tell different tales."

Ever talked to pregnant women about whether they're having a girl or a boy before they get that 20-week sonogram? Sometimes they're clueless. And sometimes they know. How? A feeling, sometimes. But many I've talked to have said, "Every time I dream about the baby--which I started doing before I even knew I was pregnant--it's a girl." (Or boy, depending.)

Me being me, these stories had me so excited that when I was pregnant with my first, I second-guessed myself constantly IN my dreams! Totally useless gauge--I would actually hold the baby in my dreams and wonder, "Boy or girl?" Sometimes the gender would change mid-dream. Kinda frustrating. ;-) But with Rowyn, my dreams did indeed always feature a little boy, though I was afraid to admit as much, given my dreaming-indecision with Xoe.

But as I was writing this part in Jewel of Persia, it really hit me--women didn't just start dreaming about their kids in the last few years. If we do it now, we did it then. But why record it? What does it matter?

Historically, it doesn't. The men who wrote the histories would wave it away. But we . . . we tell the tales of women. And we care.

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