Do you ever take walks at night and peer through lit windows, wondering at the lives of other people? I took such a walk recently and I want to tell you about it, because I can’t stop thinking about the family that I saw. Imagining them. Wondering what led them to the life that they have today.
Wondering whether what I glimpsed was typical for them.
It was obviously a special occasion. There was a mother, a little bit too old to have the teenage boy who was altering between humoring her and being annoyed with her. I thought she might have been his grandmother at first, but she wasn’t really old enough for that, and their interactions with one another were obviously those of a mother and her teenager.
She was standing in front of a mirror, in their family room, gently applying cream to the skin around her eyes. Her son was in formalwear, pacing a bit, obviously excited and nervous. While I was watching, the boy’s dad pulled up in a freshly washed car, and entered their home. The first thing he did after walking inside was to pat the boy on the back and slip him some money while mom wasn’t looking.
There were a few unheard exchanges and laughter, some hugs, and some happy tears from mom before the boy left the house with dad’s shiny car keys in hand.
The boy’s parents came out to their porch to wave him off with worried almost-threats to be careful, to be safe, and to come back home after picking Bridget up so they could take photos of the couple before the kids went to dinner with their friends.
It was the boy’s junior prom. As the boy drove off, his parents stood on the front porch together. Dad placed his hand underneath the mother’s chin, making her meet his gaze while tears obviously threatened to overtake her.
“He’ll be fine,” he said to her. “He’ll be okay. If he’s overwhelmed, he’ll remember what to do. Bridget’s dad is working the dance and he’ll keep an eye on both of them.”
She sniffed. He hugged her and kissed her on the head before they sat down, obviously not content to wait for their son’s return indoors. It was a warm and just-right breezy night, so I couldn’t really blame them.
“Do you remember when we thought he’d never have true friends, much less a girlfriend?” the mom said, wiping at her eyes.
“Good Lord, I do, well (sigh/chuckle), I remember you worrying about that, because you worry about everything,” replied the father. “I told you back then that he’d figure out a way to interact, to control himself, and that he’d be big and handsome enough that…”
“Sush,” she said, cutting him off. It was quiet for a few moments. “I worry that once he gets inside, and sees all of those kids, the lights, the noise, that he will become anxious, and lose his words. I worry that he’ll…”
“Hush.” It was the father’s turn to cut her off.
“I just,” she said.
“I know.” he said. “He’s come a long way. I’m glad that you…” His voice drifted off, while he looked away, obviously fighting emotion of his own.
At that point, they both looked up the street, and then a bit into space, into themselves, lost in thought, but seemingly at peace.
The boy’s mother may have been remembering rocking him in the quiet dark nights of infancy, or about his first day of school, and how she cried harder than he did. She may have been remembering his four-year-old hand, growing less toddler-pudgy and more kid-like by the month, wrapped in hers, full of trust and innocence.
His father may have been remembering the extra hours that he worked to pay for the extra things that the boy needed, and would continue to need, due to his autism.
His mother may have been saying silent prayers, thanking life for bringing her the magic that she knows as her son. That her experience, while nothing like she’d imagined it would be, was something that she’d not have traded for the world.
It’s hard to really know what they were thinking. For all I know, they may have been thinking about the recent horrible Super Bowl game.
It’s hard for me to know what they were thinking, because dreams are hazy like that.
When it comes to dreams of the future, and Tucker taking Bridget to junior prom, the details are fuzzy. But in this dream, they both speak, and do so well. They want to go to a dance together. With other kids. They have friends. They need us, but less than they do now.
I realize that this dream of mine may not come true. I also realize that it will come true, but in completely different ways than I am able to see today.
My dreams of being a mom once included a little boy who would tell me about his day, have an imagination like Calvin, and say his name properly at the age of 4 ½.
I realize that when my son is junior prom age, that having friends, speaking, dancing, and having Bridget as a date, is today’s dream. I realize that Tucker’s future includes milestone achievements, unknown wonders, and countless new dreams.
That mine does, too.
I dream that this is enough. I dream that whatever new dreams I have, that today, and tomorrow, are always enough. That whatever doesn’t come true reveals what does. That what does come true is always more than enough.
That’s my biggest dream.
This was a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “My best dream ever was…” or “I want to tell you…” I used both. I’m awesome like that.
Your supercool wonderful hosts:
Also, doing tonight’s topic as a vlog was an option but unless I’m singing about Caillou being a little shit, this dream post seemed too heavy for one.
Wait, what? I ain’t playin’?? Ok fine. If you’re gonna be all like “I dare you” and stuff. Here, whiners (feel free to skip, other people):