Announcement: We’ve got a Chairman Mom dinner coming up in Newton, Massachusetts on April 2nd and one this spring (date TBD) in Sydney, Australia. Email dinners@chairmanmom.com to RSVP to the Newton dinner or show interest in the Sydney dinner! Now onto our intro…

I have insane and vivid dreams that always seem pregnant with meaning. 

Here’s one from last week: I don’t remember/won’t bore you with a lot of the context, but this part is seared in my head. 

Paul and Evie and I were trying to get back to a train station so we could shuttle to a second English country house for some sort of Chairman Mom event. (I think?) It kept shifting whether we owned these houses or were using them or were guests and it also kept shifting which was the more desirable and it was a strange amalgamation of people at them. But I know we were pulled between both and had to keep going back and forth which was a logistical challenge. (I can’t remember where Eli was, but the sense was he was fully taken care of and not abandoned. This is important because typically I have nightmares that I’ve forgotten about or abandoned my kids on nights they’re at their dad’s house. Divorce is super fun!)

So it was late and dark and Evie was groggy as we pulled into this train station. There was a mangy racoon in front of us, and we knew they could be aggressive at this location and so Paul, well, there’s no easy way to say this and animal rights activists will get upset, but bear in mind, he didn’t actually do this…He semi-intentionally ran over it. He didn’t speed up, but he didn’t swerve either. It created a little bump, not quite waking Evie. Evie is a HUGE animal lover—she thinks cockroaches are adorable—so we were both concerned that she wouldn’t realize this had happened. There was a sense of “we can do this because she’s asleep and it’s the easiest way to solve the problem.” 

I got out of the car first to make sure there wasn’t going to be a destroyed raccoon everywhere that might traumatize Evie if she woke up. I walked to the station platform (which looked like the Burlingame Caltrain station, FWIW) and looked out into the parking lot and the raccoon had morphed into a giant rat the size of half the car. Think the Rodents of Unusual Size in The Princess Bride. Ugh. I am still wincing—the image is seared in my brain. It was bloody and disgusting and it was wedged in the undercarriage of the car between the back wheels and the bumper, so big it was lifting the car off the ground. 

Paul then got out of the car and went around to the back, bent down and blindly groping around to feel with his hand what was under the car, like he’d lost his keys or something. I tried to scream that there was not a raccoon but a massive disgusting rat that he needed to actually bend down and look at, but nothing came out when I tried to warn him. I was frozen in fear watching this. 

And then the RAT CAME TO LIFE and started to slowly charge at me. I tried to get out of the way, but almost knocked down a guy’s motorcycle and worried that would be rude. It was then that I noticed a smattering of other folks on the platform waiting for the train. They all seemed at best moderately concerned. One lackadaisical guy was like, “Oh yeah, you should ask Kurosawa to solve this for you. This happens.”

And I was like, “The Japanese filmmaker?” 

And he said, “Yep, this is his local train station. He’s always here, but we don’t want to make a big deal about it, so we let him have his space.”

And then he said, “Hey Kurosawa” as if he was saying “Hey Alexa!” “Can you come deal with this huge rat?”

And then I woke up in a panic and could not go back to sleep the rest of the night. 

One thing that made this dream distinct from other nightmares: Evie was not in danger, she was safely in the car asleep. 

I am terrified to think of what this all means. But I’d also like to know any pop-psychologist or actual psychologist thoughts. What does the huge rat represent???? In probably the oddest thread I’ve ever started, I asked for help on the site. It’s also a space where others can share their horrific or recurring nightmares. I’m curious how many of us have common themes…

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

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