I can see the future. I can see a thousand different futures all the time. Actually I can see two futures that can happen thousands of different ways. Those two futures are either how my daughter dies or how my daughter injures herself significantly and I see the myriad of ways it can happen all the time. Now that she’s teetering on the edge of walking, I see these scenarios playing out one over the other with each step she takes, each step I take or her father takes. I get up from the rocking chair holding her and I can see the scenario in which I trip over the leg of the rocking chair ottoman and there I go tumbling head long into the bureau, holding her causing her bodily harm. I’ll put her on the bed and in the blink of an eye she’ll be teetering on the edge and I can see the future where she falls, breaks her head open, is a bloody mess and has to be rushed to the emergency room. I’m terrified of these futures, these events that could seemingly unfold at any second but so far have not unfurled themselves upon us. I know that the difference between our present and future and those futures is infinitesimally small. A few seconds, one different decision and I could be living one of those parallel futures. I hope each decision I make keeps those other futures from happening, but I don’t know if it will or if we’re just living on borrowed time until one of those futures manifests itself.
Thankfully though, I just found out I'm not alone in this power. It was a a revelation to find another mother who also saw those futures. I watched as she told my baby "Don't chew on that. You could crawl away with it, trip and then it would get jammed up in your mouth, and then...." She let the sentence linger. She saw it too, another future, a different horrible future I could be living in. This gift, this terrible gift must be bestowed on all parents at some level, and depending on our level of neuroses, our ability to see those futures must be heightened. Based on that logic my capabilities must be bordering on the supernatural.
But what do I do with this supernatural power? Do I find other mothers and let them know that I know? Do I just keep it to myself and hope that I keep making the right decisions? It's not like I don't see these futures for other people. That kid on the street pulling wheelies on his BMX bike without his helmet? I see his future and it never ends well. Should I continue to quell the urge to yell out "Wear a helmet!" or should I tell him? Should I tell him about this horrible future in which he ends up with a hematoma in his brain because he didn't put on a brain bucket? I don't know.
I do know that these futures are infinite and I have to decide which future I want for my daughter, for myself, maybe for the world.
This just came out of me and I have no idea what to do with it. It is sort of autobiographical and what I'm feeling right now. But it feels like it's the beginning of a short story or something. Just putting it out there.