Isaiah was crying at bedtime.
His stuffed Puppy has a hole at the seam, which we said Mama could fix tomorrow, but he got worked up about it. I went in and lay down with him and talked to him. I sang “Jesus Loves Me” and “Step by Step”.
I asked him what happened last time Puppy had a hole, he said Mama fixed him that time. I talked to him about how Puppy was actually really old because dogs age differently and we've had Puppy as long as we have had Isaiah. How Isaiah picked Puppy to be his friend the first time he walked into our home in Bowman House.
Isaiah grabbed my arm and pulled it around his body and said,
“Stay with me Papa. Tell me a story.”
Once there was an….
Yes. Once there was an Isaiah.
“…and he was sleeping in the bottom bed and Enoch was sleeping on the top bed”
Yes. And Isaiah couldn’t go to sleep. He was trying. He would close his eyes and then turn over in is bed and open them. He closed his eyes again and tried to breathe deeply. Then he opened them. He saw the underside of the top bed, where his brother was sleeping and he saw the nightlight plugged in next to his bed. He closed his eyes again and he thought maybe he was falling asleep, but then he opened them a moment later and it was completely dark.
|Tree on Night Sky|
He looked around and he sat up. He opened his eyes wide and saw, far away above him, stars. He turned his head and he saw one dark tree against the sky. He saw the moon. He turned his head the other way and he saw a big pile of rocks.
He was on top of a mountain.
He stood up. He picked up Puppy and his Guardians of the Galaxy blanket and walked toward the big pile of rocks. As he got closer the pile backed up slightly and lifted its head up.
It was the Great Red Dragon. Isaiah wasn’t afraid.
|The Great Red Dragon|
“Isaiah, you’re dreaming. This is a good dream. I’m here to keep you safe in your dreamtime. I’m going to keep you safe and make you strong. Do you want to go for a ride?”
And Isaiah said…..?
Isaiah said yes.
And the Great Red Dragon leaned down and scooped Isaiah up and put him on his neck, between his wings.
He flapped his wings and rose off the mountain. He spread his wings and glided down the winds on the side of the mountain.
The Dragon turned his head and looked over his shoulder and said again to Isaiah, “This is a good dream. This is a dream to make you strong and keep you safe.”
Isaiah heard waves crashing and he and the dragon flew out across the ocean. Isaiah smelled the ocean as he sat on the dragon’s neck between his wings. The cold sea air made him feel very awake. He took a deep breath. He knew he was asleep, but he felt alert and awake.
He pulled his Guardians ofthe Galaxy blanket tighter around his shoulders and he held Puppy tightly in his lap. He was warm, but he could feel drips of water spray from the ocean on his face, and he smiled.
The dragon flew higher in the sky as he reached the other side of the ocean. There was a different land ahead. Isaiah could see in the light of the moon and the light of the stars that it was different than the other land. It was flat and sandy, no mountains. There were a few trees all spread out. It was a desert. The Great Red Dragon breathed fire on the….
“…and there was water in the desert, a stream that Isaiah could see”
oh yes, there were streams of water running between some of the trees.
|Desert at Night|
…so the dragon breathed fire on some of the sand. His fire was white-hot and it turned the sand into glass. Isaiah could see the glass formations in the desert shining as they reflected the moonlight.
They felt a few drops of rain. Instead of trying to get away from the rain, the dragon flew up higher and higher through the clouds. Just as it was starting to rain harder and become a storm of thunder and lightning, they broke free of the clouds and were in the peaceful clear skies again. Isaiah could see the stars and when he looked around he saw amazing lights in the sky.
You know, the pretty lights in the sky…the Northern Lights?
Like in, um, Polar Express, remember?
So with the Northern Lights dancing in the sky and the storm clouds below them the Great Dragon turned over on his back. He put Isaiah on his belly and he looked at him while he was flying upside-down.
The dragon started to sing a song to Isaiah while he held him on his belly and looked at him with his great big dragon eyes. His dragon breath blew on Isaiah as he sang his song.
But Isaiah couldn’t understand the song because it was in the dragon language. It’s a deep old language that only dragons understand, but as Isaiah heard the song he felt strong
and he stood up and held his arms out to his sides and he let the Dragon’s song rush over him and the wind blow around him.
And he closed his eyes and breathed deeply.
When the Great Red Dragon stopped singing Isaiah felt himself being put down on his bed. He opened his eyes and saw he was back on the top of the mountain with the one tree. He could see the sky, the moon and the stars.
|Michael Matti Photography|
Isaiah noticed the dragon backing away from him and lowering his head. The dragon looked more and more like a pile of rocks.
Isaiah started to feel sleepy even though he knew he was dreaming. He lay down in his bed and wrapped his blanket around him and looked at the moon and the tree and the pile of rocks.
Isaiah closed his eyes and opened them again; the stars looked beautiful.
Isaiah closed his eyes and opened them again; he saw the underside of the top bed where Enoch was sleeping and he saw the nightlight plugged into the wall next to his bed.
He thought it must be morning so he called out, “Mama! Papa!”
He heard Mama call back from the other room, “go to sleep Isaiah. It’s bedtime.”
Isaiah was surprised that he had flown around the world with the dream dragon, heard his song, and felt his breath, all in a short instance of falling asleep.
He hugged Puppy, closed his eyes, and expected more adventures.
“Papa, tell me that story again.”
Go to sleep, Son