Wishful Thinking


Our son, Mark, was almost three years old when his brother, Drew, was born. After a couple of weeks of the baby’s colicky nights and fretful days, Mark announced, “That baby is making me nervous.”

We were all a little unnerved and exhausted at that point. But one afternoon when I was finally able to get Drew to sleep, I tried to catch a nap myself – only to be awakened by Mark (who was supposed to be napping, too.)

“Mommy, a monster ate my baby brother.”


I opened one eye and half smiled. Then I pulled Mark into the bed with me and prayed that we’d both go back to sleep soon. But in about 30 seconds the gravity of his announcement began to set in. Now what would a three-year-old mistake for a monster eating something? A flushing toilet maybe? Wait a minute. Monster? Flushing? Baby brother? Oh, gosh…


I don’t think that a little wishful thinking every now and then qualifies as a joy-stealer. But you can see how that might start a process that can lead to the dark side of a dream. (More on that later.)


At some point along the road to adulthood, I think I started to believe that if I wished something, it could happen – that somehow God would have overheard my wish (not my prayer) and either out of innocent benevolence or spite, He would make it so. I chose not to give Him that option and so wishful thinking became taboo to me. No, the harmless practice of daydreaming was no longer my problem.


But a “crush” – that was something else. (More on that later, too.)


By the way, a 9-pound baby won’t flush down a toilet.



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