I can’t recall much about any dreams I had when I was a child. I do have little images that flash through my mind, almost like little flutters. For example, I can recall how I wrote my first book at the age of six and at that point I knew I wanted to be a writer. My book was only about 6 pages long and told the story of a little brown bear who was trying to find his hat so he could go outside to play. It even came complete with pictures I drew myself.
And then there were the years when I was in elementary school and I knew that I was going to be a television news reporter. I would take my toy box, which could also serve as a bench thanks to the back and sides that provided a place to rest. I would pull the wooden beauty out from the wall and spin it around, then I would I post a map of the world on the wall behind me. I sat on my knees as I took The Weekly Reader, which was nothing more than a four page little paper flyer created specifically for elementary aged children in order to keep them informed of the events of the world. I would take my fake red glasses, put on one of my mother’s scarves, and throw my hair up into a bun and introduce myself to my audience before going into the news events of the day. I just knew I would be a news reporter one day. I just knew it, but it didn’t happen.
These days, I find myself wondering about my son and his dreams. He seems to have a lot of them and all of them seem to surround athletics or something that’s going to give him an adrenaline rush. Every football Saturday, he informs me that he’s going to play football one day for his mommy’s beloved Clemson Tigers. What an awesome dream, but is that mine or his? I’m quick to at least instill in him that if he’s going to do that then he needs to be a defensive lineman, they’re least likely to receive concussions and more likely to cause them.
Then there is the desire to fly planes one day. That dream always resurrects itself when we go to the Aviation Park or the Runway Café (which by the way, if you haven’t been you MUST go. Davey and I LOVE their homemade pimento cheese), so basically that dream is an every week thing. Last week, Davey; however, added a completely new dream into his book. He’s decided he wants to be a “racing car driver”. As you can see, I already have the feeling my son is going to be an adrenaline junkie.
My uncle and my cousin race cars at Greenville Pickens Speedway, it’s a short track race that is affiliated with NASCAR. I’ve gone to the track for as long as I can remember, but haven’t been since my younger brother died about six years ago. My parent’s house is approximately 3-5 miles from the track and I have fond memories of the sound of race cars lulling me to sleep on summer nights. I actually used to sit by my open window as a child and listen to the cars.
Last week, Davey and I made a stop by my aunt and uncle’s house to have something welded for my husband. After my uncle took care of the initial task, we went out to his garage where he had both his race car and my cousin’s, both on jacks, both without wheels, and both with the hoods up. Davey’s eyes lit up. He reminded me of the kids from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
He walked into the garage slowly, first going to one car and gently running his hand along the body of the car. He stood quiet for a moment and then almost as if speaking to the dead or the sacred he said in an awe inspiring whisper, “racing car”.
He walked over to the other car, squatting down briefly as if to inspect the underbelly of the beast. He rested his hands on his knees as he pointed out little things and said, “What that?” My uncle came over and explained in adult terms (which I love) what each part was. Davey listened intently as they both walked around the cars. Then without the slightest hint of shyness about him, Davey stood up and asked my uncle, “I help fix?”
My uncle gave him a couple of wrenches and Davey got busy “fixing” the race car. After his task at hand was complete, Davey then turned to my uncle and said, “I drive racing car.” I suppose since he’d “fixed” the thing, he felt he was entitled to “drive” it. My uncle picked him up and put him in the car, then attached the steering wheel. Davey sat in the big bucket seat attempting to steer the wheel and change gears all while making the sound of a racing car. After a few minutes, Davey was all done.
That afternoon, on our drive home my son informed me, “Mama, I not fly plane, I drive racing car one day.” Guess we’ll find out this week what his latest dream will be. I can’t wait to hear it or any of the others that will surely follow in the future. Dreams are wonderful gifts to have.