When I have a nightmare about my children, it's usually about my oldest son, the one whose life is most different than mine, the child I have least control or say over. Meaning, none, really. Well, maybe some, but not much.
The dreams are always horrifying and disastrous. A plane crash. A flood. A huge infection. A rope in the shower. I wake up each time with my heart pounding, his name on my lips. I am always certain I must have been yelling aloud in my sleep, and the only thing that I am yelling is his name. Over and over again.
Once I even called my former spouse to suggest we change plane tickets in order to avert the accident I was sure would happen, both our children involved. I calmed down, the plane arrived, all was well.
As I will this morning when the time is more civilized for all, I call him to make sure he's alive. Bottom line. I usually tell him about the dream, and then he laughs a little, and we move on to talk about his roommate or his writing. The dream fades.
But since the day he was born, his well being has been my top concern, and that concern hasn't faded over time. When he was running across the street or sailing by on his bike or driving too fast, there was his name on my lips, yelling for him to take care. He was little and mine and he needed to be tended to. He did get hurt and did have injuries and hurts, mental and physical. He always recovered, but in the back of every parent's mind is the time the child will not recover, will not get better. This is the fear that grips us, and even when the child is older and gone, the worry still lives, hiding in our minds like a virus.
Life happens, and I could acknowledge the loss of my children as I still have them. People and things are temporary, gifts, impermanent. The Buddhists tell us all this, but I'm not enlightened that way about my children and I will never be. I will be screaming their names, urging them to safety, wanting them better and whole and absolutely alive.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org