The other night, I had a dream. One of those dreams during which you wake up and for a split-second you ask yourself, “did I really leave my kid at a train station all alone earlier today?”, until you realize you’re in your bedroom and you thank the Good Lord that you did not in fact abandon your kid and that The Department Of Children And Family Services will not have to be called.
Then you go into your kids bedroom and check on them. Just in case.
You know that dream. We mamas have all had a dream like that and I am telling you, this dream just about killed me. It all started with this fruity idea that I had, that we were all going to go on a trip via train. I had my older son Si with me and our backpacks. I remember walking to the train station with him and texting my husband to pick up our younger son Bozo and meet us at the station. Despite not hearing back from him, we proceed.
Then, I realized I had forgotten the tickets. After searching my person for them I apparently felt it was okay to tell my six-year-old “you stay here while I drive back home and get the tickets”. So, I did. I left him at the train station while I hopped in my grandmother’s old car (did I mention I was driving my grandmother’s old car??).
Then, things got worse. Abruptly, I find myself at some kind of outdoor barbecue in someone else’s neighborhood. It was nighttime and I have no idea who any of these people are, and it suddenly dawns on me “I’ve left my kid alone at a train station”.
Panic. Frantic panic. That’s the part of the dream I remember most. Running around the neighborhood in the dark, trying to find my car and can’t find it anywhere while these strangers look at me like I’ve lost my mind. I’m so confused. How on earth did I get to this barbecue without a car? Why did I end up here? So then, I start texting my husband again, but of course in this dream, the auto-correct is going crazy and making my texts completely non-sensical. Although, as before, my husband isn’t answering my texts, so what does it matter?
It was at this point that I woke up, heart-racing and lying straight on my back looking up at the ceiling. Needless to say, I was beyond relief to find that not only do we not live anywhere near a train station, but that Si was in bed snoring away as usual while Bozo was somewhere deep in the recesses of his stuffed animal cave.
What am I saying? That wasn’t a dream. It was a nightmare.
Naturally, I went back to bed and began analyzing why I would dream such a terrible dream. The thing is, my life is actually very similar to my dream, albeit on a much less panic-inducing and scale.
I might not leave my kid at a train station, but I’ll leave my F-drive at home, which houses everything I could possibly need for my job, and not realize it until I’m already at my office with three minutes to spare until my first client arrives. I’ve stood in the middle of my office and cussed the F-word a handful of times because of this very reason.
I might not forget how I arrived at a BBQ and not even remember driving there, but I frequently forget where I parked on my way out of the grocery store and I dissociate all the time while driving, as the only means of escaping the incessant fighting going on in the back–to the point where I don’t actually remember driving the 7 mile stretch of Main St.
I might not forget something as important as train tickets, but I forget lunches, mittens, snow pants, permission slips and to re-schedule a hair appointment on a regular basis. I can’t count the number of times my morning commute has been interrupted with a “S*#t” and me turning around in someone else’s driveway because I forgot to take my son’s lunchbox out of the refrigerator and put it in his back pack.
The only things that took place in my dream that happens in real life are the annoying auto-correct and my husband not answering my texts.
My life sometimes feels like a never-ending race with no finish line. Getting ready for school, packing lunches, packing bags, remembering Si’s coins for the coin drive and the fact that today is “Royalty Day” at Bozo’s pre-school, packing myself up for work, planning dinners, doing homework, remembering to feed and take out the dog, calling back my father, planning birthday parties, talking to the principal about my son getting bullied on the playground (which had me in such a tizzy, that I tried to back out of my garage with the garage door still closed).
Often times it’s overwhelming, and that’s usually when I start forgetting that we ran out of milk two days ago or that I forgot to renew those library books that are a week overdue, or that my car still needs to be aligned, or that I haven’t yet opened the garage door so don’t reverse just yet. My life is dictated by To-Do lists because if I don’t write down every single blessed thing I need to remember, it is as good as gone.
Today, it was nearly 50 degrees outside and the boys and I took an hour-long walk down our dirt road just the three of us. Our first relaxing Spring walk of the year. We stopped and loitered for long periods of time, they played in some water, they carried sticks and we laughed at how silly they were. I am so grateful I had that time with them today before the rush of the work and school week starts all over again tomorrow.
I can’t wait for summer vacation.
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