The Dream: My daughter has had a baby. She arrives at my house with her husband and hands me the baby, who has a crabby little face. Nevertheless, I gladly receive the child. After a few moments I realize I don't even know the baby's sex. I ask, and my daughter tells me it's a boy. I am slightly disappointed and say, “I'm not sure I know what to do with a boy.” All my experience has been with girls.
I seem to be in charge of the creature; he goes everywhere in my arms. If he cries, I wonder, will I hand him back to his mom as most people do with a baby? My daughter is glowing, very happy. She looks very thin, and I'm concerned. She tells me she weights 150 pounds: is that enough? “You don't look it,” I say.
Even though I'm enjoying holding him, part of me is concerned that I'll get saddled with this child to raise. I wonder if my daughter will leave him with me and go along her merry way, unencumbered. I don't think I can take on children at this point. One quiet baby is one thing; a couple of active toddlers would be exhausting.
Interpretation: The day before I had this dream I had a visit from a friend cataloging a list of recent losses: one of her aunts had died as well as a very good friend. Being presented in waking life with her pain made me question my ability to nurture her. Part of me wanted to fob off the responsibility; someone else should be taking care of her. As long as the “baby” is quiet I can manage; if he becomes activated it's too much!
What's behind this unwillingness to comfort and console, to take care of a friend? My own “baby”that becomes activated in this situation is the underlying thing that frightens me. An incident that coincided with the visit from my friend was the more important dream trigger. We found three dead birds on our property, all victims of the neighbor's cats. Seeing the mangled birds brought back memories of seeing dead baby bird fetuses as a child. At the time it upset my child sensibility terribly, and the dream reminds me, once again, why it's difficult to deal with another's pain: it taps into my own reservoir.