… but what does it MEAN?!?

I’m one of those people who tries to find meaning in everything, if you haven’t already guessed. I think this comes from being raised in an Irish Catholic family. I don’t know about your Irish Catholic family, but mine buried my grandma with a dime to make a phone call. And a few other handy items. We were a superstitious bunch. Predictions and “feelings” ran rampant. I’m just a product of that upbringing, is all. No need to psychoanalyze. Or judge.

Sometimes this is helpful, like when Bunz is spinning down the path towards a seizure. I totally understand those seizure-sensing dogs, because I swear there’s a shift in Bunz’ energy before he has one. Sometimes I’ll lay down next to him in bed and immediately feel uncomfortable, shaky, like I’ve gone too long without a snack. And sure enough, he’ll have a seizure that night. I’m no seizure-sensing dog – I overlook about as many as I predict – but whenever I put my face next to his and sense that change in energy, my prediction is spot on.

Other times it’s not so helpful to search for meaning in meaningless things. Like when I drink too much coffee in the afternoon and get really anxious at night. “I’ve just got this bad feeling,” I’ll say to my husband. “Something’s not right. Bunz did something at school that he’s not telling us about. I just know that teacher’s sitting there on her iPad, typing out an angry e-mail. Just wait!” I’ll say to him. To which he replies, “Hon. Did you drink coffee today?”  Because he knows there’s no meaning in caffeine overload. And by now I do, too. Because I’ve tried and tried, but I can’t predict when I might receive one of Ms. C’s pointed e-mails. How I love that woman. Nice but not too nice.

Anyway, I’m thinking about all of this because yesterday a girlfriend arranged for me to meet with a psychic medium. Yes, you read that right. And it was awesome. If this sounds farfetched to you, that’s ok. We can still be friends. There’s nothing I can tell you that will change your mind. We can just agree to disagree. But for everyone else, let me just tell you what a mind-boggling experience this was. You have to hear what this lady said about Bunz.

First, some history. This medium was discovered several years ago when my friend’s aunt bumped into her at a social gathering. The medium-who-was-not-yet-a-professional-medium was basically like, “Hey, can I share something with you?” and proceeded to give my friend’s aunt a bunch of intimate information about her mother, who had recently passed away. No money was exchanged, and the medium apparently had no way of knowing this information. Now, years later, the woman has become brave enough to offer private readings in her home.

Before I tell you this story, let’s be clear: I’m totally biased. After I heard the story about the aunt, I couldn’t even pretend to be a healthy skeptic. That said, the medium knew only my first name. And she instructed me to answer her questions with a simple “Yes, I understand,” or “No, that doesn’t make sense to me.” I wasn’t encouraged to provide additional information during the reading.

Now I’ve been to visit psychics in the past, but this lady was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. She even seemed to respond to things I was thinking, which was a little nerve-wracking. I realized she was doing this at the beginning of the reading when I thought, “I wonder what my mother-in-law could tell me about Bunz and why things went wrong during his birth.” And without me saying anything, the woman was like,

“You’re wondering about your son. Something about the letter L, the number 6, and the month October. Jackie says she held him first. She says that when he stares off or seems distant, he can see her. Do you have a dog? You’ll get a brown dog. That dog will see her too. She says that if she could paint a picture of how she’d wish him to be, she wouldn’t paint it any other way than how he is. And you’re thinking you wish she could be here now. You regret that she’s not here; you think if she were here she would work with him until he was completely on track. She’s showing me a picture now, I see him surrounded by books. She wants you to read with him. Read, read, read. And be patient. You’re a patient mother. What a surprise that is, huh? Just keep being patient. Someday it’s going to be like a light switch goes on and everything takes off.”

Yeah. So that happened.

An hour and a half later, I left her house with mascara running down my face, a recording, and a pad full of notes. In addition to the bit about Bunz, the medium conveyed some really amazing messages from my mom and some funny things from Pop Pop, who made the medium laugh until she cried (if that’s not a confirmation of his presence, I don’t know what is).

Now. Despite my wholehearted belief in this medium, I have enough self-awareness to realize that I could benefit from a dose of healthy skepticism. Perhaps you can provide this for me in the comments. Go ahead. (See? We can still be friends. Maybe?)

Sometimes I think Little Bear senses my need for that, too.

Right now, the two of us are sitting in the airport, waiting to board our flight back home. It’s been a productive work week for me, and we both had a lot of fun with family and friends. To pass the time, Little Bear is playing with our boarding passes, arranging them in the shape of various letters. First he made an L. Then a T. Then a K, with the help of his little index finger.

When he made an X, I asked him, “So … is that like X marks the spot? Or is it like an X because you got the wrong answer?”

“Mama,” he said calmly, patiently. Looking up at me with his wise blue eyes.

Sometimes an X is just an X.”

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