A Sacred Moment with My Grandson

Heidi Skarie

One warm August night my husband, Jim, and I babysat our three grandsons overnight while their parents—our daughter and her husband and our son and his wife—went out on a date night to celebrate their tenth anniversaries.

I put Cayden, the two-year-old, in a small tent his parents had brought over. Then I  lay down in bed with Asher, the six-year-old, while Jim put Austin, the four-year-old, to bed. Asher often sleeps by himself, but he was nervous that night and didn’t want to be alone in the dark.

He went to sleep without a problem but was awakened at 3:30 a.m. by a nightmare. I was tired but thought it was important to comfort him.

“What was your nightmare about?” I asked.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he answered.

“I can sing HU. It might help you feel better,” I offered. HU is a love song to God. Asher knew about the HU and used to sing It sometimes when he was younger. He agreed, so, lying beside him in the dark bedroom, I sang HU for a short time. Then I asked him if he felt better, and he said he did.

He was quiet for a while, then he asked me to sing HU again.

Afterward he asked, “Are there mummies around here that can chase you?”

I realized he must have had a nightmare about mummies. “No,” I said. “There aren’t any around here. Mummies are way across the ocean, and they’re dead and can’t chase anyone.”

He was quiet for a while, and then he said, “Grandmother Nancy’s dog died, and he was my favorite dog.”

I thought his sorrow about the dog dying might also be what was keeping him awake.

“You can visit the dog in your dreams,” I said. Then I added, “There is a God that created us and loves us.”

“Is God like the gods in the cartoons?” he asked.

I was sorry his parents hadn’t taught him about God, but his father was raised Christian, and my daughter was raised in ECKANKAR, so I thought it was OK to discuss God. “No, there is just one God,” I said. As I lay there, I remembered a story I’d read recently about another ECK grandmother whose grandchild had bad dreams. She’d told him about HU and said that she’d be with him in his dreams and would protect him. The grandchild’s nightmares stopped. So, I said to Asher, “I’ll be with you in your dream and kick any mummy that bothers you.”

“I have a good imagination,” he said, probably thinking about me kicking some mummy in his dream.

“Imagination is God’s gift to us,” I replied. “You can imagine playing with Grandmother Nancy’s dog.” After that, Asher went back to sleep and slept until morning.

No one likes being woken up in the middle of the night, especially when there are three young children to take care of the next day. Yet I saw this conversation with my grandson Asher as a gift—a sacred time of sharing. During the day, with two other young children around, TV shows, friends, and toys, Asher and I weren’t likely to have this special opening to talk about dreams, God, imagination, and the death of a beloved dog.

I was reminded that every moment is a sacred spiritual opportunity. This recognition brings joy into my life.