Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Dream Catcher

Two beautiful dream catchers made by Wendy. She used Willow tree branches for the circle.

My daughter Ryan used to have night terrors.  My husband and I will never forget the first time it happened. She was 16 months old. We had NO IDEA what was going on. She would wake up in the middle of the night (usually when we were just about to fall into a deep sleep) screaming, kicking, crying, and she wouldn't stop flailing around. We tried everything. And I mean EVERYTHING!!  We tried to be calm, but seriously, if you have witnessed your child having a night terror, the LAST thing you are going to be is calm. We tried talking to her - that didn't work, so we tried yelling. You guessed it, that didn't work either. We were so afraid that she was going to hurt herself - and sometimes she did.  When we tried to get in the middle of it, we even ended up with a few bruises. Her first night terror lasted almost two hours.  She finally stopped when we were five minutes away from the hospital. Yes, we were taking her to the hospital. We thought there was something wrong with her. Our other option was to search for an exorcist!

These night terrors continued for quite a few more months. When we finally realized what they were, we were better prepared to help her get back to sleep. That being said, it wasn't easy. And it was quite stressful for all of us.  Now, she no longer has night terrors - thank goodness! But of course, as kids get older, it's almost inevitable that nightmares start.

At least now, Ryan is able to talk to us about it. And in turn, we are able to talk about them. Finding ways to make sure bad dreams don't enter her head.  We talk about all the things that make her happy. That make her laugh. What she loves.  Then we got on to the topic of dream catchers.  For Ryan, having something near her, that "caught" bad dreams, was a great idea.

So, we decided to make dream catchers.  With the help from Wendy and this Dream Catcher tutorial, we made some really great ones!

Dreamcatchers are an authentic Native American tradition from the Ojibwa (Chippewa) tribe.  It is a Native American object based of a small hoop covered with string, yarn, or horsehair mesh and decorated with feathers and beads and believed to give its owner good dreams.
There is a traditional belief that the Dreamcatchers filtering a person's dreams by trapping the bad dreams and catch the good ones. 

Made by our friend and neighbour, Wendy

my first attempt

Made by Ryan - with some help of course.
Side bar:  OK, nothing ever really goes as planned!  As most of you know, the attention span of a 3 year old and a 2 year old are quite short.  Once Ryan was finished working on her dream catcher  - that was it. She was done! While Wendy and I were finishing up ours, Ryan and Andy went in the back yard to play. When it was eerily quiet back there, Wendy got up to check on them.  I really wish I had a picture to share with you, but there was Andy sitting happily in the wagon, while Ryan pulled her along, on their way to the park.  Yes, they "escaped" via our back gate, along the back alley, towards the park!  Talk about a mother's worst nightmare!  Thankfully they were still in the lane way. Safe. And we all went to the park.

For more information about Night Terrors click here.

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