The way the dream begins, I am with my wife, discussing my daughter's request to be allowed to stay away for the night, meeting us the following day. My daughter is in her late teens, and the request involves going to another city to be with friends and to check into the possibility of going to college in that city.
My wife is questioning my daughter, asking about the where and when and timing of her plans, but I see the frustration of wanting to please us in my daughter's eye while at the same time wanting this freedom. I suggest that she, my daughter, has my cell phone number, and that should she need anything she has but to call and I'll be there. My wife is frustrated at the idea that my daughter be given this freedom, but agrees with my daughter that she will call if necessary but in any event will meet back with us at an agreed upon time and place the following day.
In a flurry of excitement, my daughter rushes to throw her things into her car, then runs to jump in and drive off down the street. My wife beside me, I call out my daughter's name and she looks back over her shoulder at me. I call out "I love you!" and my wife says "Uh oh, you shouldn't have done that" and I watch in dismay as my daughter stops the car, hangs her head down as she steps out of it, and while she simply stands there the car rolls forward, diagonally climbs the curb and an embankment, then flips on it's side. My daughter continues to stand with sobbing, shaking shoulders and then turns away from the scene and walks straight away - without plan, head down, crying - but away from the car laying on it's side and away from her mother and me.
"Uh Oh" is right - but the need is to rush to my daughter's side. I am alone with her, and her mother never reappears in the dream. But I tell my daughter that the accident with the car is the result of leaving the car unattended - that the more important accident is what happened to have caused her to stop what she was doing and to step away from the car. I explain to her that what she was feeling was the rush of emotion from loving me and wanting to be loved by me, and now she was hearing those words "I love you" and didn't know how to integrate the feelings into her life. I told my daughter that it was only natural to think "What to do? He loves me - I love him - what are my responsibilities? Oh, I am leaving him, driving away, but I want to be with him, I love him, oh oh ohhhh" and I suggested that everyone feels this way, all the time. We buy cards, remember birthdays and (hopefully) remember the important days and events in time to be able to share these remembrances with those we care about.
All the while we are having this conversation, we are walking back to the car, slowly, an arm around each other as we walk. When we get to the car, I am able to set it upright (this is a dream, remember?) and I again tell my daughter that if she needs anything, simply call. But most importantly, I suggest that she stay focused on what has to be done right then, that moment. If she is driving the car, her first responsibility is to the handling of the car, I tell her. Tomorrow, the next day, the events of the future will all handle themselves, and she will be able to go with those events, as long as she stays focused on what needs to be done this moment, now. She has the power of self control - and to be focused. This time, my daughter drove away happy and untroubled. ….I woke up….
© 2001-2005 John B. Moss