How do you respond to someone's prediction of doom?
I'm not really sure what to do with this. Maybe you can help.
Just this morning, I called Sheila, asking her to review how she handled her 20-year-old son's teenage years. Tucker seems angry whenever he's home. I want things to be better, but I end up getting angry back at him. Sheila and I talked for awhile but, as usual with parenting, we didn't come up with a solution. As I dropped Tucker at school this morning, the slam of the door resounded like an exclamation mark on our relationship.
I've been worried about Spencer the past few days too, since he came home at 9 p.m. Saturday. He hasn't hung out with his friends since then. He claims everything is fine, he's just decided to stay home more. That makes me nervous. He's the most social person I know. Is he fighting with his friends? Is he trying to avoid trouble?
So worry about my boys was nibbling at my brain when I got home and checked my email. One of my former students, Muhanned,a smart man who I trust and stay in contact with, sent me an email. Muhanned was born in Saudi Arabia, grew up in England and the U.S.
His email was titled "I had a dream." I figured he was sending me another video of his baby daughter. But not. He wrote about his dream that "some harm came to your son" and "you were offered $300 million in compensation." He woke up with a feeling of foreboding and wasn't able to shake the feeling for the past few days, so he emailed me.
I felt tears fill my eyes.
Should I go pull both boys out of school and keep them home -- forever -- to keep them safe?
I don't know whether Muhanned has prophetic dreams like his namesake, but the idea of something happening to either of my sons is frightening. And when I thought about it, I realized there is nothing I can do to protect them from the world.
Of course, I analyzed Muhanned's email. I wanted to shoot back questions: Which son? Have you had dreams come true before? Did something happen during the day that made you think of me, which could have spurred the dream and had nothing to do with my future?
And I looked at his carefully chosen words: "some harm." He didn't say "die" but why would I get compensation if said son was still alive? $300 million compensation meant some sort of accident and a big corporation responsible. I brooded on his words. I needed to make sure my boys were safe.
The thing is, there's nothing I can do to make sure my boys aren't involved in an accident if Muhanned's dream is correct or if it isn't. The only thing I can do is to make sure that the boys know how much I love them, to be certain our relationship is fine in case anything should ever happen to them or me -- whether it's related to Muhanned's dream or just to life.
So I asked Tucker to go to lunch, but he turned me down. He wouldn't mind if I gave him his weekly allowance though. So I dropped by the school. Tucker and his buddies filled the car and asked me to drop them at Qdoba. He leaned over and game me a kiss before he got out.
Then I saw Spencer walking with a few friends on their way to lunch on this beautiful, sun-drenched day.
Whatever the future holds, I hope we can all say we didn't waste our time together fighting or complaining.
And I'm thankful to Muhanned's dream for forcing me to go make peace with Tucker and take a few minutes out of my day to remember how much I love my kids.
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