The idea of dreams and dreaming influences almost all aspects of life - humor, beauty, insight and nightmares. Shakespeare, who dreamed up a whole bunch of things, once said, "We are such stuff as dreams are made of."

We've all heard of the poor guy whose reoccurring dream had him trying to open a door that had a sign on it. He relates to a friend that, no matter how hard he pushes and shoves, he cannot open the door. When asked what is written on the sign, he replies, "Pull."

A man dreams that he is visiting Heaven. The guide shows him another man who is being completely pampered by a gorgeous woman, She peels grapes and feeds him. She gives him luxurious backrubs and even pedicures, all the while paying full attention to his every word and agreeing with him completely. The dreamer admits that if this is Heaven then he is curious just how terrible hell must be. The guide says that if he really wants to know, just ask her.

Most of us have at one time "woken" from a nightmare, just to realize that we are still dreaming, and have yet to really wake up. These dreams often occur around April 15. Sometimes we dismiss things as dreams - as when Scrooge blamed something he ate instead of believing the apparition in front of him, "There's more gravy than grave" about his nightmarish visitor.

Dreams are good, but as the song "Dream, Dream, Dream" goes, "Only trouble is, gee whiz, I'm dreaming' my life away." Some of us actually do something about our dreams. We become the CEO we always wanted to be. The dreamer, after a season of hard football practice, actually becomes the receiver who catches the winning touchdown pass. After many years of growing together, some people actually realize that their spouse is their dream-come-true. The grandchild in our arms replaces the previous field of dreams that we had before.

Where we draw the line between dream and reality is up to each person. The "dreamy" guy who asks the girl to the prom might still be turned down, when she learns that looks aren't everything. The dreamboat of a hot-rod might be passed up for an economy car, if the young man is saving money for college. Some dreams never come true, and shouldn't, thus the phrase "Only in your dreams!" Many, many dreams are put on hold while we are raising our children. For some unlucky few, their children are their nightmares.

Most people are perfect in their dreams. I'd like to think that I am perfect during my waking time, but my boss and family and friends and even strangers keep telling me to stop daydreaming.

The other day my children looked up from the movie that they were watching (actually, it was over). They saw me looking at them with a odd smile. "Dad, what were you daydreaming about?" They, of all people, should know. My dreams are about them.