Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

Accepting What Is Through Dreams, a Speech Delay, and The Love of a Boy

I wish I could remember the sentence I heard that night. I woke smiling even before the alarm went off. “He spoke! Oh, he spoke.”

My baby was three years and three months old and I’d known the incessant chatter of other kids his age for years. I was one of the last in my circle to have had a baby, and had been babysitting for years.

I’d not yet heard a full sentence come from my son’s lips. “Ah” meant “water,” and “hah,” with a taptaptap on his chest meant “helicopter.”

Both words were equal priorities for then-him. As was telling his friends about the game in his head when he couldn’t tell them about the game in his head

That morning, I adjusted my pillow nest and held onto the a few minutes of remembering hearing my little boy’s voice.

He’d spoken. The feeling lingered as I poured coffee, checked emails, and went to wake him. It wasn’t until I was helping him dress that I realized the sentence I’d heard come from his lips had happened in my dream.

My son was three years and three months. He wasn’t talking.

He was three years and three months and was saying “ah” for water and “hah” for helicopter. He was so worried about school. I was so worried about him.

EEEP look at his baby face, his hands, so pudgy. His hair, so blonde compared to now. This was his first day of school. A full year before I let him take the bus

backpack school copy


When I was eight, I had a recurring dream, night after night. Eventually, I knew it was a dream, and came to think during it “next, you’ll jump into the water and realize that you can breathe within it.”

“The bad guy’s going to find you and then it’s time to wake up.” Same dream, every night. Over and over. Those dreams were the ones that taught me that dying in a dream doesn’t mean that you’ll die In Real. That in a dream, you can breathe underwater. That in a dream, you can breathe through life. 


My pregnancy dreams weren’t of a baby but of a blonde toddler who smelled of earth and mischief. Asking to go outside, and not waiting for my reply. A Calvin and Hobbes boy who slayed snowmen in the driveway. I imagined him chattering the way that I had at his age.  


When I was eight, I fought monsters and witches and sometimes lost. And yet, I lived. Turns out, when you die in a dream, you don’t really die, even though it makes sense that you would. 


Tonight, my son lies beside me, clenching my hand. He’s almost asleep but his nose. Gawd, his nose, and allergies. 

He sits up. “I need a tissue,” he says. I hand him one and he blows his nose. I toss it into the bin beside the bed overflowing to the floor. Allergy season. He lies back down, twitches, and I know he’s dreaming of flying and of his stuffed Spidey moving to get closer to Snowman.

I recently sewed Snowman’s arm back on for the second time.


I lie next to my boy, whispering about magic and stuffed animals, talking about how, like the Velveteen Rabbit, when they’re loved, they become real. We lie in his bed, head to head.

I whisper “here, feel,” and hold his hand to Snowman’s chest. “Can you feel that?” I ask. “He looks at me, eyes wide. “I feel something,” he says.

“That’s the magic,” I said.  “They love you back.”

“I feel it,” he says. “I feel the love. And their strength.”

I think but don’t say that I hope he always does.

A friend of mine died when I was in my 20’s. One night, I said a prayer and held onto a bear that reminded me of him but was given to me by somebody else. “I’m here,” the bear said.

“I know,” I said. “Are you okay?”

“Better than,” he said. And I believed him.


I dreamed my son could talk when he had apraxia and possibly autism

“I need another tissue,” my little boy snuffles. He’s mostly asleep. The tissue box is empty. I dare not get up because as everybody knows, an almost sleeping six-year-old is pretty much a sleeping six-year-old. “Here,” I say. I take his booger between my fingers and reach for an already-used tissue not wanting to get up. I wonder at how I’m fine with collecting boogers at bedtime between my fingers. He holds Spidey to his chest and tells me they’re climbing. “I can see,” I say.


When my son was two, I stayed until he went to sleep. It was easier that way. Before leaving his room, I’d take his hand, holding mine, lift his arm up, and drop it to see whether it flopped or stayed. Flopped meant that I assumed he was dreaming, and I left.


On Sunday, my husband was home and let me sleep in. My boy came to my room. I told him it was Sunday, to find Daddy. He lifted my arm to see whether it would flop or not, and I realized how much he knew but couldn’t say back then and today.

He brings me Snowman and Spidey, tucks them under my arms “for company,” and finds his dad.


Once, I had a dream about my little boy talking and was heartbroken when I realized it was a dream. Today, he’s talking and saying that he needs to go to the doctor for a broken mouth because he knows that he’s supposed to say “really?” instead of “weawy?” He knows. He has a dream. His are mostly about climbing walls and Snowman moving while he’s sleeping.

His dreams are also about not feeling dumb at school and knowing what a friend pizza is made of. I think that his and my dreams are aligned this month.

I dreamed my son could talk and wish it were true

I’m wearing a birthday hat as I type this, because this boy of mine brought it to me for working. I’m getting ready to go upstairs, listen to what’s happening in Minecraft, and know that I’ll know when he’s dreaming without having to flop his arm.

I’ll know that we both dream about flying and that while sleeping, will find comfort in the arms of magical Spidey.


Finish the sentence Friday writing prompt

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday Post. This week’s sentence is”While I was sleeping, I dreamt…”

Your hosts are me (Kristi from FindingNinee) and this week’s sentence thinker-upper, Deirdre of Deirdre’s Daily Dose

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  • Deborah Lovel Bryner - <3 <3 <3 ... all the things you said and THEN SOME...I can remember the dreams in which my daughter was just like other silly little girls, wanting to play dollies and one day dreaming of love and marriage and babies and carriages...and then I woke up and someone told me she would probably never do any of those things...Often I stay home from weddings because they serve as stabbing reminders of how my daughter has been robbed of all the fun and silly and emotional and wonderful things other girls take for granted....May 20, 2016 – 3:58 amReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - I too dream of hearing Alex talk but that will never be a reality for us. He may learn to communicate through augmentative communication and I pretty much know what he wants but I want to hear about his dreams. He has managed to work his way back into my bed over a mattress cooling topper.

    There is something so magical about those moments before all children drift off to sleep. It is when they are most receptive whether we are reading to them or listening to them

    It is amazing Mom’s have super immunity (not really) to their kids everything. When my son gets a sinus infection or sick he is clingy. He will sneeze and so much snot will fly out, I will look like I am a slimed ghost buster. It is no wonder why we get sick together.

    The magic is in the bond and unconditional love a parent has for a child and a child has for their parent. You are the cool Mom I know but Tucker would love you the same either way.

    Psycholinguistics is everyone’s first language or the human race would have ended a long time ago.

    I am so glad your prayers have been answered. You’ll have new ones for your son but I am glad that one was answered.May 20, 2016 – 4:04 amReplyCancel

  • Allie - You have dreams like Rich – he usually dies in a plane crash. Y’all are crazy. I usually have happy dreams, about rock starts:)> And sweet little Tucker can’t wait to see you both.May 20, 2016 – 11:48 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL to the whole “Yall are crazy.” I guess we are. I think I didn’t know you yet when I wrote this, but Rich may relate (and omg am I really posting a link to an old post in a comment – for nobody but you sweets).
      Boom. the catastrophes.

      I CANT WAIT TO SEE YOUMay 20, 2016 – 10:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I might be enamored with a minor part of this post, but I do love the floppy arm test…the best. 🙂 And, I too had dreams of my son talking before he actually did…May 20, 2016 – 11:55 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, yeah, that floppy arm test gutted me too. I mean, I didn’t even know he was processing as awake, and even awake that he was processing. These boys of ours OMG.May 20, 2016 – 10:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @TheGoldenSpoons - Aw! Sweet, sweet boy! He’s mad such amazing progress just since I’ve known you and read this blog. I think we all dream of our kids being happy & successful – whatever that means for each one of them.May 20, 2016 – 12:13 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - He really has made such an amazing amount of progress, Lisa! Thank you!!! And yes, here’s to our kids being happy and successful – whatever that means for them. I love that because it’s so easy to feel like things are about ourselves, you know?May 21, 2016 – 8:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Josh - Any time you can wear a birthday hat while writing about dreams is a good time and a good day.May 20, 2016 – 12:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly McKenzie - This sentence prompt was perfect for you and I was excited to read your post. You didn’t let me down. The bit about T picking up your arm to see if it would flop? Tissue worthy.
    We never now how much they’re taking in, do we? I’d say it’s fairly safe to assume that it’s pretty much all.
    Sorry your lad is suffering so much this allergy season. Hope he’s better very soon.May 20, 2016 – 1:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Ohh! That story about the bear hit me so hard in the heart. “I’m here.” “Better than.”
    I used to dream about things before they happened, but oddly. Like months before my wedding? Weddings in Iceland. Weddings where I was wearing no makeup. Weddings I missed. Weddings, weddings, weddings.
    Before the babies, I had dreams they were born with teeth. Guess what, though?? In real life, my friend’s son was born with two teeth.
    That’s weird.
    And not even a dream.May 20, 2016 – 8:55 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Tamara, yeah, the bear… and I remember dreaming about things before they happened too… wow to weddings weddings. That is weird that your friend’s son was born with teeth after your dreams. lol.May 21, 2016 – 8:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Paul D. Brads - …this is so great…just so, so great.May 20, 2016 – 10:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Lewis - EWWWWWW to the boogers thing. But I get it.

    That just-before-sleep time can be pretty magical. I like it there.May 20, 2016 – 10:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - I can only imagine how having a non-verbal child would feel. My son has always been extremely verbal and maybe, without trying to sound like an asshole, over verbal!

    When I was younger, my dreams never included children and now, my children run rampant in my dreams!May 21, 2016 – 12:13 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL to overly verbal. And to be clear, I’m not sure Tucker would be considered non-verbal because he babbled but again, water was “ah” and helicopter was “hah” while tapping on his chest so… but he talks now!!!
      Aw to your kids running rampant in your dreams today!!May 21, 2016 – 8:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Maria Feekes - Kristi Rieger Campbell, thank you so much!!!! love you to the moon and back.May 21, 2016 – 4:30 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Tucker picking up your arm to see if it would flop was so sweet. Sometimes on the weekends I go to bed before Christopher and he comes in to kiss me goodnight the same way I do him.

    Ewww to collecting boogers but been there, done that! I probably won’t be okay with it again until grandchildren.May 21, 2016 – 7:05 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw!! I love that Christopher comes to kiss you goodnight if you go to bed before him!!! EEEP!! LOL to the boogers and your grandchildren. May the grandkids be plentiful and the boogers less than.May 21, 2016 – 9:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Corinne Rodrigues - What a lovely bond you both share! Giving you the hat to wear while you work – that clutched at my heart and made me smile simultaneously.May 22, 2016 – 9:40 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Me too Corinne! I couldn’t not include it even though when I did not initially practice self compassion when I saw the photo. Sigh. xoMay 22, 2016 – 7:09 pmReplyCancel

  • yvonne Spence - This is so sweet. (Well apart from the booger part.) I’m so glad Tucker to see how well Tucker is doing.May 22, 2016 – 10:18 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thanks, Yvonne. He’s doing pretty well. Some challenges of course… sigh.. but yeah. And lol to the boogers.May 22, 2016 – 10:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - Ah… all of it is magical. The way you write it all- it reads like a dream. All of it. I love getting this gorgeous glimpse into your dreams, your world with Tucker, and your absolutely beautiful heart and soul.

    And that FACE!! That precious FACE!!! (Do you wonder which face I’m refering to? That sweet boy’s… but ALSO? Yours.)May 22, 2016 – 6:53 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - *****“I feel something,” he says.

    “That’s the magic,” I said.*****

    I just love you. Whooooooo are you?! xxxMay 23, 2016 – 10:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Josie Two Shoes - Time and again your posts take my breath away. Your stories of life – a mother’s life and her heart within, are the stories of so many mothers. The dream, to hear your child’s voice, and to now realize that dream, verifies that our dreams can become real and the things that we hold close can also become real. What touched me most? Your friend telling you that he was now better than ok. I don’t think you dreamed that, I think he wanted you to know. xoxoMay 24, 2016 – 9:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Oh Josie, thank you! What a wonderfully kind and sweet comment. I appreciate it more than I know how to say. And you know what? I think he wanted me to know he’s okay too… xoxoMay 25, 2016 – 9:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarina Steinlein - This is a truly beautiful, heartfelt piece on a part of your life. <3June 4, 2016 – 6:36 pmReplyCancel

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