empty arms

I once dreamt that I was holding my three-year-old son on my lap. It felt so good, to wrap my arms around his small body, to hear his sweet voice again. Suddenly, I heard my grown son, the same son, coming down the stairs. I tried to hold on to my baby boy but he squirmed out of my lap and ran to the bottom of the steps to greet his grown-up self. I was afraid in the dream, of what would happen when the past met the future. There was a loud popping noise and a flash of white light as they came together. And there, standing alone on the stairs was the little one, the one that was still mine, the one that still needed me. We looked at each other briefly and then I woke up…my arms empty.