I don't remember how it happened, but one moment I was dozing off on the couch, and the next I was in a house I was all to familiar with, one that had been my home for years. On the couch was...well, me...sitting next to a much younger, ten-year-old version of my son.
The young boy was curled up against mine-younger me's?-side, sleeping peacefully, his basketball trophy clutched in his hand. It wasn't anything fancy, and all the children had received one, I remember with a smile, but how he worshiped that trophy.
I heard my voice speak, a voice I missed, one filled with happiness, pride, and motherly strength. It was the way I had spoken before I had gotten used to speaking in soft tones, before I had to hide the pain in my voice, and before everything had changed.514Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡjIEUdEoUsx
"The bo-" I began, only to be cut off as she raised a single finger, placing it to her lips, the same way I always did when I needed the children or Alan to be silent for a moment.
"You can't change the past. You did really good, hun. You saved them boys, you got yourself a precious child, took a teenager in off the street. You've got three grown boys now, two sweet little girls, and a teenager whose not quite ready to let you into her heart, but that's ok, you've done good. Better than I could have."
I shook my head, because it seems so silly to hear my younger self say I had done better than she could, for we were the same person. But then I looked again, and realized, no we weren't.
The woman before me was still only in her thirties. She wore that motherly smile, stroking the hair of the boy who had long sense grown too old to curl up by my side. She didn't know what it was like to lose a husband, to have to change everything to take in two teenage boys, hoping to be able to fix them.
I realized then, in the eyes of my younger self, I was the type of mother I had always looked up to back then, the mother that could manage to run a household, keep her children fed, deal with meltdowns, romance, fears, and the struggles of growing away from the innocence of youth. She didn't say any of that herself, but I could feel it in the three words she spoke next, the same words that I often used to praise my young ones without the need to go overboard with the words.
"You've done good."
There was admiration in her eyes, though I only half understood it. How could she admire a woman who had failed to protect the nephews you barely knew, or the woman who barely held herself together some days?
"You saved them, I didn't. You took in the same children I have, and then some. You learnt to run a household by yourself, while I've always had Alan at my side."
She paused for a moment, opening her mouth as if to say more, when I woke up, my ears picking up the sound of whimpering down the hall. I stood up, making my way down to the room, sleep the last thing on my mind, for right now, one of my babies needed me.
And then, as I entered my nephew's room, I heard a voice in my mind. "You've done good."
Author's note: This is based on a real dream and real events of something that happened a few weeks ago, with the only difference being the age of my younger self.ns 184.108.40.206da2