To my right sits a rusted silo, standing tall and cumbersome with nothing else to compete with in its surroundings.
A tumbleweed rolls past the front of my car, and I realise at this moment I have forgotten something.
I step out of the car. I leave my car door open, anticipating my quick return. It is hot, but a gentle, cool wind greets me, and my hair blows out wide, giving me instant relief from the heat.
The back windows are wound down. My two sons sit in their seats, t-shirts abandoned, their heads leaning out the windows to capture the cool breeze.
I bend down to their eye level. "I'll be back," I say to them. "Just wait where you are." They smile and wave - happy and contented.
I walk away from the car. I am searching for something, but I can't remember what it is. I look around. All I can see are the tyre tracks from my car - tracing our journey to this place. I stop, trying to recall what it is I have lost. It does not come to me.
Eventually, I turn and walk back towards the car - more confused than frustrated at my lack of ability to find what it is I have lost - my decision made now to keep driving.
I find the rusty silo and look towards the space in which I had left my car.
It isn't there.
I look around frantically. It was here. It was. Right. Here. Next to the silo. Where on earth could it be?!
I start turning around, my eyes desperately searching for the car and my boys. I scream their names over and over. There is no answer. I look toward the silo. It stands over me, seemingly taller now and intimidating.
"I left the car HERE!" I yell to the silo, crying hysterically now. "HERE! WHERE ARE THEY? WHERE ARE MY BOYS?!"
There is no response.
* * * * *
I had experienced a few vivid dreams while pregnant with my first two sons. When pregnant with the 7yr old, I had a dream one night in which my baby boy arrived - sporting bright, orange hair and shining blue eyes. Imagine my surprise when the 7yr old arrived looking just like the baby in my dream.
But I had never had dreams like the ones I experienced during my pregnancy with the 4yr old. Dreams that invoked fear and anxiety within me. I would wake in tears, feeling anxious, asking myself, 'Is something terrible going to happen? Is there something wrong with my baby?'
In another dream following the one above, I was at the beach with my two boys. As we sat on our colourful, striped beach towels, the tide came in, washing the towels towards the ocean. I grabbed at them, calling for the boys to follow me further up the beach. After reaching where I thought we should sit, I turned around and the boys were gone. Just like the desert dream, I searched the beach frantically for them. Eventually, I spied a bright blue swim shirt, its owner under the surface of the water...not moving. The same shirt the 7yr old had been wearing just minutes before.
And then I woke up.
I relayed my dreams to my Obstetrician at my next visit. He smiled gently at me and asked, "Do you think you're worried about how you'll balance having three children to care for?"
I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat, realising for the first time that that was exactly what I was feeling and thinking.
My Obstetrician - a father of five himself - explained he'd had similar dreams when his wife was pregnant. His concern was not being able to give his children the time they deserved. His own father had always put work first, and my Ob didn't want to make that same mistake.
He assured me my dreams were probably my concerns about balancing a larger family, and that I shouldn't worry. It would all be ok.
I mean, yes. I struggled that first year after the birth of my third son. It was difficult for me trying to coordinate a new baby, a preschooler and a son in his first year at school. Then there was homework, cleaning, cooking sometimes three dinners at night (what a fool I was). My feet would hit the ground running each morning, and I didn't stop until my head hit the pillow at night. There were days I would cry with exhaustion. Completely overwhelmed with it all.
However, even during those difficult periods after the 4yr old was born, I recall a lot of stories being read to all three boys, and building Lego on the floor. And I didn't leave anyone in a car, or lose my children at the beach.
And once my baby was born, apart from getting up to feed my new son, I slept well. There were no more dreams that left me feeling anxious and fearful.
It all turned out ok.
If you've been pregnant before, did you experience any particularly vivid dreams? If you have more than one child, did you worry about how you would balance more children?