asked Helena at bedtime.
I ask her if she dreams a lot. Yes. Every night. It wakes her up. (Me, my dreams rarely, barely register with me.)
Helena doesn't want to dream about monsters in her closet, she tells me. I suggest she think about nicer things as she's falling asleep; maybe she'll have nicer dreams.
Jellybeans, she decides. She's thinking of jellybeans; maybe she'll dream she comes home with Papa and the house will be full of jellybeans, all over the floor, the sofa, over the stairs, she'll jump in jellybeans, and then I'll come home and jump in jellybeans with her.
But then she remembers. She doesn't want to dream. Not about monsters in her closet. She doesn't want to dream at all. How do you stop? she asks again.
I suggest that if she should start to dream, pretend it's a television program, and just turn it off.
She says she'll press the button. She presses her finger to her nose and giggles.