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My life's joy
I have stopped dreaming about my childhood

By Babak Mohammadi
October 7, 1999
The Iranian

Occasionally, I like to pause and contemplate the meaning of life and essence of human existence. For some inexplicable reason it becomes meditation for my soul to think about events in the past. At times, I trace my life chronologically to moments that signify a break or rupture from regularities of human emotional and intellectual development. I have convinced myself that these moments do not occur in vacuum.

You may be asking what is all this mumbo-jumbo Babak is giving us. To answer this question I have to go back 48 hours to Friday, November 27, 1998. As I just finished my first pint of lager, it occurred to me that it had been almost a year since I had dreamt of my childhood.

I remember vividly what I dreamed last time. I was playing outside of our house in Torbat-Heidarieh. I was full of childhood joy. My joy was immediately shattered as I heard my mother's voice crying my name: "Babak... Babak... biyaa tu khuneh... biyaa tu khuneh." (Babak, come inside the house.)

Every physiological and emotional instinct told me to expect a tragedy. In anticipation of something terrible to occur, I ran toward the house. As I entered the house, I saw my mother crying, saying "deegeh raft... deegeh raft" (He's gone...).

"chi raft maman? chi raft maman?" (Who/what has gone?) I asked. "deegeh raft... deegeh raft" she kept saying. Knowing how close my parents are to one another, my attention quickly turned to my father. As I was bombarded with unorganized and vague images that one can only expect in a dream, picture of my father found its way into the puzzle of my thoughts.

At once chaos and confusion turned into harmony and order, and the picture became clear. The unthinkable but inevitable thought of losing one's parent shattered my fragile soul. I began to cry endlessly. When I woke up, it felt like my spirit had been conquered by sadness. It took several days for me to rid my soul of the heavy weight of depression.

For a long time, after I was separated from my parents and came to America, I had many dreams about my childhood. I always looked at my childhood as the most wonderful period of my life. Perhaps, because of some of the difficulties that I experienced as a teenager in America, I took refuge in my childhood memories in Iran. Those years presented security and comfort to a young adolescent devoid of parental care and guidance.

As I pondered the reason why I have not had any childhood dreams for a year, it dawned on me that it has been almost a year since my son was born. What a coincidence! Perhaps he has brought the joy of childhood back to my life.

The "break" or "rupture" that he has caused in the continuum timeline of my life has enabled me to rediscover myself. I no longer look to the past to soothe my injured soul. My son has healed my wounds. He has given me a reason to cherish life and to look forward toward a brighter tomorrow.

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