Thursday, January 29, 2009

How Many Children?

A week ago, I had a striking dream.
Michael and Ender and I met up with a version of Karen Thomas at a bus stop. She had come from California to bring my "second child" back to me; somehow, we had been unable to care for him when he was born. She held him in a boxy shopping back padded with blankets. For a moment I felt critical of such treatment of my own baby, but I realized how grateful I should be that she took care of him at all. As I peeked in the bag and pulled my child out to embrace him, I tried not to feel the pain of having left him. Would he never think of me as his mother? Would he never feel able to fully trust anyone? Would he know love? I took him to a room our family had stayed in the night before. His hair was slightly darker, slightly longer than Ender's. Though this would be unrealistic in life, his eyes were a mossy brown. Those eyes sparkled as I held him up. I knew that look: love. My baby knew somehow that I loved him, that I was his very own mother, and he was mine. How could there be that much love in my little baby who had hardly known me? I determined to give him all the attention he would need, to let him sleep between Michael and me so he would know he was not alone. As I gazed at this loving child, I woke up.
The room was light from the snow outside. I sat up and looked around. Where was he? I have two children! Where is he?! He's gone! He's gone!!! I lost him! Where's my son! He's not here, he's gone! I've lost him! I can't find him! I ran to the bathroom and prayed--"Don't I have two children? Heavenly Father, how many do I have? I can't find him..."
It makes me weep to remember the loss. It makes me bawl. I loved him.
I finally, finally remembered by trying to name my children that I have Ender. My one, sweet son.
You can imagine a lot of pondering and praying followed this experience. I know I'm not pregnant (and this time that knowledge even brought some disappointment). Most of my thoughts have not changed, but it is as if a window has opened to my future, and I see a little more than I used to.


  1. I keep counting heads--1.2.3.--and something always goes: WHERE'S FOUR?! Where ARE you, four?! And it's that same sense of panic and loss and grief and confusion. It also opens me up for the possibility of adding to our family, though, like you, I'm not immediately ready for it.

  2. I've had similar dreams. I totally understand the sense of loss. It's very poignant, especially for being "just a dream". I often wonder if the Lord gives us these dreams/visions to prepare us or to teach us or to make us more empathetic to others. They definitely teach me not to take my children/husband for granted. Amazingly, you'll be ready for another child before you think you will be. At least going from 1 child to 2. 2 to 3 is another story. :)

  3. I don't remember the dream that I had last night, but I woke up and looked around, saw Lily and heard Izzy crying, but where was the other one? I couldn't find it! How strange it is to be a mother...


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