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May 31, 2005 - 12:27 pm


I dreamed Sunday night of tornados.* I was driving and noticed the sky darkening behind me, funnel clouds appearing out on the horizon. Lots of funnel clouds. I’ve had tornado dreams many times before, but this time I have no idea why. I mean, obviously they represent destruction and pending doom and all that, but why now?

Maybe it’s because I finally told the children that their dad and I are not ever going to be moving back in together and we are, in fact, getting divorced.

John and I discussed talking to them (bare minimum information – no getting into why, other than we just can’t live together) once we had settled into our new house and new routine. But then when I suggested to John on Friday that now might be a good time – say, before they hear it from one of their friends since at this point everyone knows but our kids – he said, “No way. That’s not what we talked about. We weren’t going to say anything until they asked us, and if it takes a year or five years, that’s fine. But I’m sure you’re just going to do what you want to anyway, so go ahead and tell them whatever it is you’re going to say.”

Yeah, that’s real good. Let’s just pretend it’s not happening and maybe they won’t notice. Heaven forbid they should ever be mad at us.

It went fine. I told the Girl first while she was in the tub. I asked her how she liked living in our new house and how she felt about spending time at her dad’s. She said it was great; she loves having two houses. I told her it was going to stay this way from now on. Then she asked, “Are you guys getting a divorce or something?” I said, as a matter of fact, yes we were, and asked what she thought about that. She said it would be a little bit of a change, but it was fine. I told her that she and her brother would still live here with me and would keep visiting their dad just like they are now, and he and I will always both be involved in anything that has to do with her and her brother.

She seemed to be okay with everything and asked if I’d told the Boy yet. I said no, but was planning to tell him right now while he was in his tub. She said, “He’s kind of sensitive, you know. Start off with him the same way you started with me – by saying things are going to stay like they are right now.”

Right. Thanks for the tip.

The first thing the Boy said was “What if Dad gets married again? What if someone marries you?” I reassured him that no one could snatch me up and marry me without my permission, and if his dad or I ever get married again it would be a long, long time from now and he didn’t have to think about that right now.

Later that night as I was tucking them in bed, I asked them each if they were okay with what we’d talked about and whether they had any more questions. The Girl was fine. The Boy cried a little and said, “But Dad can’t hug us if we don’t live in the same house.” I told him that made Dad sad too because he misses them, just as I miss them when they’re at their dad’s house. But we always see each other again very soon, and we’ll always live close to each other.

Then the Girl came in with Tag to cheer her little brother up. She set him in front of the mirror where he started to bark at his reflection. Then he walked out into the hall to see if there was another dog behind the wall, crouching down and wagging his tail, barking at this invisible intruder. We all had a good laugh at Tag's expense.

And I let it go at that, tucked them both in bed, kissed them and told them I loved them very much.

So now they’re at John’s for a whole week, and they’re planning to go fishing. Naturally, the over developed worst-case-scenario lobe of my brain has come up with a whole mess of ways the children could be maimed for life or lost forever, or worse – emotionally scarred by what John may say about our divorce. Not that I think John would say anything stupid or put them in danger, but I can’t help but worry. It’s built into the Type A wiring I was born with. And the Girl telling me she wished I was going camping with them because Dad ‘makes’ them eat chocolate Pop Tarts for breakfast, chips for lunch, and s’mores for dinner didn’t help either.

Tornados. Buildings blown to rubble. Cows flying through the air. Chocolate Pop Tarts. Mayhem.

But then just as suddenly, I dreamed I was standing in a field of four-leaf-clovers, unable to believe my good fortune. It doesn’t make sense, but I felt so blessed, so…rich.

I’ve had this unbelievable knack for spotting four-leaf-clovers since I was about eight years old. I see one just about every time I stand in a patch for any length of time. And I know from years of finding so many that four-leaf-clovers are usually made from a leaf that’s been split or damaged repairing itself and forming two healthy leaves from the damaged one. Not magic, but remarkable nonetheless.

So in this dream, there were dense patches of lush green four-leaf-clovers as far out in every direction as I could see. I was filled with happiness and peace, and I knew that everything was going to be alright.

*And just for the record, I'd like to complain about my subconscious mind's perpetual lack of originality. I mean, come on. Storm clouds? Yawn. That is so overdone in dream symbology. I'm a semi-creative person, so why can't my dreams get past the cliches already and maybe explore something a little more open to interpretation? Like, say, cornbread. Or clown shoes. You know, something that takes a little work to get through. I don't know.


reading -The Niche Narrows by Samuel Menashe
viewing - Life as a House
listening -“Namaste” by the Beastie Boys

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