I know where this one came from. I had just read a big write up about Mary Jo Copeland and how she cares for the street people that come into her Mary's Place in the cities (here in MN). Also, I caught a bit of Slumdog Millionaire yesterday while babysitting (in the morning, before the kids were awake, of course!). I had seen that movie before and it really was a good one but a little hard to take. It's hard to think about children suffering so much in the world, with no one to care for them and everyone around them just exploiting them.
In my dream, there is a little boy of about 6 or 7. He is staying at his uncle's house. I see him because Butch and I are visiting a friend who is in a tough spot. His wife is leaving him, his in-laws hate him and they are broke. The little boy is playing on a huge playset in their yard (he is the nephew of our friend's dad, who lives with them...but our friend doesn't really have responsibility for him). They are trying to get rid of the playset so we start taking it apart and find this little boy at the end of the slide.
He is very confused but not sad. He has on a saggy diaper and that's all. I think to myself that he could certainly use some clothes and he must be able to use the toilet so I take it upon myself to help him find something of Bocker's to use. I bring him home to care for him because nobody seems to mind. The rest of the dream, I'm training him to use the toilet, teaching him to speak properly, and giving him general instructions and love. He repeats everything I ask him and then adds a question mark at the end. For instance, If I tell him, "Now, you should probably have a sweatshirt because it's cold." he'd say, "I should have a sweatshirt, because it's cold?". He'd never directly ask "why?" but I sensed that no one had ever cared about him enough to direct him in what he should do. I know that his mother is a hippie who's drugged out and his father is absent or very very mean. The little boy doesn't seem to be permanently damaged, just a little behind in ability. I take him home with me, even though we are living in poverty at a relative's house ourselves and have lots of kids who sort of resent another mouth to feed. I try to teach them that we should love our brother, even if it's someone with whom we're not related.
I woke up and whispered this prayer: Dear Lord, be with all of the abandoned children in the world. Lead them to safe adults who will love them and care for them. Keep them safe from harm and protected by their angels.
It occurred to me that we don't have any "street children" around here. They wouldn't last a week in the cold. That's the hard reality of life here in Minnesota. I know that children are neglected and abandoned all of the time, but they would be picked up by social services or cared for by a neighbor (I hope) or die from exposure very quickly. I've never seen a child huddled under a bridge or picking from a waste dump. I've never seen a child, in rags, begging on the street.
I am very disturbed by this dream. I think I fear losing my home, my own children, my husband, my way of life. I think, even worse, I fear that the world doesn't care anymore about children...or anything. I must fear that my own children might lose the ability to care about others, or become selfish, or become like everyone in the world seems to be right now. I am all about self preservation, but not at the cost of losing one's soul or ability to reach out and find enough love for someone who has none.