Sunday, August 21, 2016

Running Dreams

I woke early and went into the living room to turn off the TV. Both my children were out there asleep, one to a couch, each covered by a fluffy comforter dragged out of a closet, the TV blaring over them all night. I watched How Its Made for a minute, mesmerized as usual by the precision of industrial machines, and the idea that someone had to design them so they function just so. But it was barely daybreak, so I clicked off the set, gazed a minute at my children, and went back to my room. My husband was still sleeping softly, so I climbed back into bed. And then I dreamed. I was running along a street, flying past my daughter, looking over my shoulder to make sure she was keeping up. I ran effortlessly, and my girl waved me on. I had more running dreams, not the anxious sort where you're trying to escape from something, but the exhilarating kind, where the wind rushes by you, and your head's thrown back, your throat's exposed, and you're laughing. I woke up, marveling. I don't think, even when my body was at its optimum, running ever felt quite like that. What did it mean? Perhaps nothing more than that I've been watching the Olympics.

Yesterday, our whole family joined my son's gf's whole family in New Jersey for the day. Her brother and sister-in-law's brand new baby was there, such a good-natured peaceful little Buddha, and we all held him, and when at one point he started to fuss, my husband took him, and he quieted right down, perhaps never having seen the world from such a height, and he rested his head on my man's shoulder and my husband patted his back gently, the way he did with his own children when they were babies, and the little one went right to sleep. "You still have the touch, Dad," my daughter said, because that shoulder of my husband's is widely known to put babies right to sleep. And that sweet little boy just slept on that big man's shoulder until his mother arrived a half hour later. As soon as she walked through the door, her baby's head popped up, even before he heard her voice. We all went to dinner together then, ten of us, and it was lovely.

Today we're heading back over to New Jersey, this time to my elderly aunt's house, where there is a birthday party for my cousin who is turning 50. The relatives from all over are driving in to be there, and it will be a mini reunion as my aunt, who is ailing, was not able to make it to Jamaica this summer, though my cousins Facetimed her in several times that week.

My son got 96 percent on his final exam this week. He said, "I wish I had done this in college." And then he added, "But to be real, no one has ever asked me for my college grades since graduating. So who cares." I know he's doing so well now because he's truly interested. I read once in a book about raising boys that our job as parents is to get our sons through school with their self-esteem intact, no matter how hard they struggle academically, because then they will grow up and find the thing they are passionate about, and at that, they will excel. But only if they have not been made to feel like failures in a school system that asks them to be experts in everything. My boy has found the work he loves, and he's thriving. The book was called Raising Cain, and I hung on to that particular promise for dear life some years. And now look.


  1. Your dream sounds beautiful. But then so does all of it, your family with your son's gf's family and your cousin's birthday party coming up and your son's success and happiness.

    Beautiful. :)

  2. A dreamy post, my friend, my sister. I don't think I've ever dreamed of running. Sometimes I dream I can jump so high and stay there but maybe only twice have I flown in my dreams.
    Now I have all these beautiful images in my head- a baby with his head on your husband's broad shoulder, your son, so true and smart and how that book probably saved you and maybe him too. You with your family once again and how much love there will be. But mostly, you running. Free and joyful, right into bliss.

  3. I dream of walking, hiking and doing yoga, all of which I once did...Your family always sounds wonderful, and congratulations again to your son!

  4. How marvellous to dream like that! And yes, your son has found his niche and you can smile and be glad you had a hand in all the good that he is. Enjoy your family get-together.

  5. I'm sure the dream means something -- or at least a psychologist might say so, if psychologists are still into interpreting dreams! Congrats to your son for his excellent score. We have "Raising Cain" in our library. I haven't read it, though!