There is a story I heard years ago that continues to haunt me in a way that stirs my curiosity and wonder.
It’s a story about a three-year-old girl who was the only child in her family. Her mom became pregnant again, and this three-year-old girl was very excited about being a big sister. The day came when the mother delivered a baby boy. The little girl was delighted and so excited when they brought him home.
After a couple of hours of the baby being home, the little girl told her parents that she wanted to be with the baby in the his room, alone, with the door shut. She was absolutely insistent about the door being shut. It kind of gave her folks the willies. They knew she was a good little girl, but they had heard about sibling rivalry, so they were a bit hesitant.
But, they were able to put their worries aside when they remembered they had installed an intercom system in preparation for the arrival of the new baby. They reasoned that it would be okay because if they heard the slightest weird thing happening, they could be there in a flash.
So they let their little girl go into the room. They closed the door behind her. Then they raced to the listening post. They heard her footsteps move across the room. They could tell she was standing over the baby’s crib, and then they hear her say to her two-day-old baby brother, “Tell me about God. I’ve almost forgotten.”
This story captures the sense that as we grow up, as we become more influenced by the world, we engage in a process of forgetting. There is something about the process of growing up that wounds us all. In spite of this we can still renew our purity and connection to God. Allowing ourselves to be fully in the moment with children and engaging in their world can be a help.
Children have a purity of heart that allows them to believe and love with ease. It’s heartbreaking when the negative messages from our society seep into their hearts and cause them to fear and doubt themselves. These influences can be revealed when our children have nightmares.
I want to do everything I can to protect the spirits of the children in my life, so when my fiance’s granddaughter continued to cry out at night because of bad dreams, I wanted to do something. Native American spirituality has always fascinated me, and I remembered their use of dream catchers for preventing nightmares.
I thought it would be a healing and fun craft project for us to make our own dream catchers. She was all about it! It was not only fun for her, but it was a relaxing way for her to talk about her dreams and fears.
You can make this with items you more than likely already have in your home.
Here is everything you will need:
*Plastic or paper plates
*Sticky gems & stickers
- Your little one can help you punch holes in a paper plate.
- Cut different colors of yarn and tape it to the back of the plate. Let your little one thread the yarn through the loops. (here is where you can thread in the beads onto some of the strings)
- He or she can choose the feather colors and you can tie it on the string.
- Put stickers or gems on the plate
“Dream catchers are one of the most fascinating traditions of Native Americans. The traditional dream catcher was intended to protect the sleeping individual from negative dreams, while letting positive dreams through. The positive dreams would slip through the hole in the center of the dream catcher, and glide down the feathers to the sleeping person below. The negative dreams would get caught up in the web, and expire when the first rays of the sun struck them.” http://www.dream-catchers.org/
When we asked her the next morning if she had any bad dreams she said, “no.” 😇