VW Beetle Dream

A couple of nights ago I woke from this dream:

I was sitting in the passenger seat of our VW Beetle convertible. My son, Sam, was driving. The top was down and the sun was shining on us. Feeling relaxed but a little tired, I kept rearranging my pillow against the door trying to find a comfortable position. When I heard the siren and saw the flashing lights behind us, I ignored them. I ignored them until I realized they weren’t going away. I told Sam to pull to the side of the road, sure the police car would pass us by. Unfortunately the lights remained behind us. Turns out we were the ones being stopped. I was confused. Sam had been driving under the speed limit and well within the law. Getting pulled over didn’t make sense.

Just then a bystander walked up to us. He asked me, “You know why they pulled you over, don’t you?”

“No,” I replied. “I have no idea.”

Pointing at Sam, the bystander told me, “You weren’t providing enough direction.”

I didn’t need my psychology degree to interpret this one. Tonight is the last night Sam lives under my roof. Tomorrow he moves into Willard Hall.   His freshman year of college is about to start. Tomorrow I let him go.

At first I discounted what the bystander told me–Sam was driving really well. Over the years I have felt fairly comfortable with my parenting. Sure, there are things I could have done better, but I am proud of the man Sam is becoming and we have a strong, loving relationship. I have been confident he was ready for college. Nevertheless, I can’t deny that deep inside, a part of me is unsure. Did I give him what he needs? Did I provide enough direction?