Evan had a sharp intake of breath on the car ride home from karate last night.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
He sniffed and was breathing deeply. I glanced at his seat in the rear view mirror and saw him hunched over, holding his head and slowly rocking back and forth.
"Evan? WHAT is wrong? Are you ok??"
He tells me that he was dreaming while he was awake. He tells me that he doesn't want to talk about it. He tells me all of these things in terse, 3-word sentences and a catch in his voice.
I continue to pepper him with careful questions. I can see how quickly he is spiraling into a melt down, but cannot do anything to stop it. I know he had a vision of something horrific. I know, because he has had them before. I know, because I have them, too. Dreams can wash over us like a tsunami, knocking us off our feet and making it impossible to focus on anything other the immediate emergency in front of us.
"Are you worried about us? About Daddy? About Penny? What are you scared of, Evan?"
"I don't want to talk about it! Can you please just try to hurry home? Please, Mama?"
By some miracle, I caught every green light on the drive home. When you get 9 green lights in a row after your child has has a vision that petrifies him, you start to get a little anxious, as well. He finally lost control once we were safely inside the house. Crying and shaking, I held him in the kitchen for a long time.
"I wish I didn't understand honey, but I do. I'm sorry I gave you such a vivid mind that can have such realistic dreams. But at least you also got my good looks, right?"
He didn't find the humor in the situation and insisted we call his dad who was at basketball practice and wouldn't be home till late. Not till he had his entire family under the same roof could Evan finally come out of his funk. He still won't share what his dream was, and I know better than to pry it out of him.
He'll eventually tell me. It may be days or weeks or even several years from now, but he will tell me in his own time. It will be family-centered and positively horrible and will still upset him as much as it did last night. I know this about him. I know this about him because I know it about myself.
I wish I didn't pass this along to my middle child. Of all of my attributes, this isn't something I enjoy and wish he had been spared. But, as I said before, at least he is shockingly attractive, just like his mom.
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