Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do you ever...?

Today, we had a fire drill. Nothing out of the ordinary. A monthly routine at my school of dreams.

Unbeknownst to me, as I stood in the Florida sunshine amidst a grassy field of elementary school students at attention and their teachers stoically patroling, waiting for the "all clear", there was one child missing.


A sea of nearly 1300 students and she was unaccounted for.

Luckily for me, (a) I was in the dark and never suspected for a second that her whereabouts were ever in question, and (b) she was never REALLY missing. There was just a misunderstanding about procedures for handling students in her weekly enrichment class. (Whew!)

However, afterwards, when I caught wind of her "disappearance", like any good mother, I thought for a minute (or two), those crazy paranoid thoughts that we all (I) think sometimes. Do you ever do that?

I imagined myself standing on that same soccer field, but this time, there was smoke. There were sirens. Then, a handful of people run to me with ominous looks on their faces. Their hands are on my back; they're supporting me with their strength as they explain that she's missing. I'm frantically begging for a cell phone as I remember my Blackberry is on my desk upstairs.

I call FireDaddy and cry as I, hysterically, demand him to, "Get in that firetruck and get over her and FIND OUR BABY AND GET HER OUT!!!"

Then, I snap out of it.

This isn't the first time my crazy, random fears have manifested into ultra-realistic daymares.

One minute, I'm innocently driving over the bridge, completely at ease behind the wheel. The next, I'm watching my car launch off the side of the bridge and careening into the river below. I can see the water rising outside of my car. My windows are darkening with the dirty, polluted water. The smell of oil and gas fills my diminishing air supply as I breathe. I reach for my handy-dandy car escape tool that My Mama gifted to everyone one Christmas. I fumble to cut my seatbelt and - God forbid my children are in the car - cut their belts as well. I struggle to break the glass and keep my head free from panic. The water is cold and my girls are heavy in my arms.

But, I shake it off. My car is dry and calm and the Jason Mraz is singing one of my favorites. My eyes once again focus on the road ahead of me as I feel the tension leave my shoulders and jaw loosen.

The superstitious side of me worries about thinking these horrors. If I think them, will they come true? The supernatural part of me worries they are premonitions. Will these be like those dreams of mine that later come true? Though they seem purely fiction at the time, will they one day be alive? Will I one day recognize that old, familiar feeling filling me, and think to myself, "So this is how it happens..." Even now, by letting these hallucinations leave my mind and take a presence on the internet, I worry that I will open a door and permit them into my life.

Do you ever think these things?

(P.S. I told you I was neurotic.)


  1. Not only do I do this, but the last paragraph you wrote could have come out of my mouth word for word. When I hear sirens, and I know Hubby is on the road, I hold my breath imagining the phone call that will come to let me know he's been in an accident. Sometimes I'm so deep in my daymare that I begin to shake as I think about how I'm going to break the news to his parents and what plans I'm going to make. Or if I'm going somewhere at night, I imagine my worst fear of being followed to my car and attacked. And then I freak out that I've had those thoughts. Because if G-d forbid any of it comes true, was it my thoughts that brought it on? And you should know that I've almost deleted this comment twice now because, like you, I'm afraid to even put it in writing (and I actually blame one of our HS friends for this who told me when we were in a sticky situation in Cassadaga not to think bad thoughts b/c that's how bad things happen). But I'll suck it up and do so so that you know you're not alone. I guess we're all (or I'm at least) a little neurotic, too.

  2. Oh, it is most definitely not just you. I tend to do that with the kids. You know, one is sleeping soundly so I decide to take a shower. Suddenly while I'm shampooing my hair I imagine every SINGLE terrible thing that could happen to him while I'm not paying attention. I absolutely refuse to write the terrible things here for the same reasons you say. So no, it's not just you. Maybe we're all neurotic. I think loving someone makes us even more so.

  3. Jenny we've all done it/we all do it. Then when bad things DO happen I think, is this something I did dream about?

    I'm glad that she wasn't really missing and it wasn't a real fire.

    Cheryl, "a sticky situation in Cassadaga" is not something I would ever want to be in... brave girl...

    Leigh, Usually before I jump into the shower I make sure all the doors are locked, the alarm is on, and strap my baby girl into a infant/toddler rocking chair IN the bathroom. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I use to call my son into the bathroom like every couple of mins when I was showering. He's now almost four and he recently decided one day it was easier just to sit in the bathroom and play with his sister while I'm showering instead of being beckoned back and forth.


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