It’s 6:33 on a Sunday morning and I’ve been up for a little over an hour, after shaking myself awake from a dream of T.

My memory of the dream starts with T being in our house for a weekend visit. For some reason, “our house” was a mishmash of where we live now, my childhood home and a house for-sale down the street and around the corner.  There were toys every where.  My Mom and my nieces and nephews were also there – in the house but in other rooms that I couldn’t see and didn’t attempt to enter.  Lucas was more baby than boy, but he moved freely about the house.

Like T-dreams I’ve had in the past, this one held the promise of a bright, sunny, warm weekend.   For several months now, the T-dreams have been like that.  Yellow-bright.  Happy.  Resolved.  Content.

There was a feeling of me being very busy, but I didn’t do much.  T spent most of the dream-time in the other rooms with my nieces, nephews and Lucas.

I came home from work in the very early hours of a morning and arrived knowing that T and Lucas were wide awake, playing in Lucas’ room.  Sensing something was up, I went into the room to find big brother T cleaning up little brother Lucas’ mess.  Lucas had just managed to wet  his pants and pee on the floor and T was sloshing the mess around with a bath towel.

I grabbed a towel from out of nowhere and started cleaning things up, including T, who had stepped barefoot through the mess in an effort to get out of the way.

T and I are sitting on the floor and I’m drying off T’s feet when we talk for the first time in the dream.

I ask Are you having fun living with mommy and daddy?  He looks at me and suddenly the yellow-bright, happy, resolved, content dream-feeling fades.  Tears fill his eyes as he says No. I want to stay with you.  And then he starts crying.

I feel my breath catch somewhere in my throat.  I’m happy. I’m sad.  I’m scared for him. a dream-thought comes: his parents are probably yelling at each other or at him and his sisters.  For a moment, I’m afraid that they might be hitting him.

You want to stay with me?

He nods his head yes, tears pouring down his face.

I start to shake my head…and then I’m awake, shaking my head.

And now, something I had pushed, shoved and cajoled into a dark corner is back.

I’m tired of this pain.