I have what my husband calls "The Tingle." It's a sort of knowing - mostly random bits of oddness and sometimes, brief wisps of other people's memories. Sometimes, I can see a shimmering light around people too - their aura, as it were. It's passed down on my mother's Irish side, through the blood that runs through my veins and I have long given up trying to explain it away. I am. It is.
This gift, for lack of a better word, was much stronger when I was younger, particularly during my teens, when I was more in tune with emotions - mine, looming large and chaotic and of those around me. It has faded since, and while I do occasionally get a passing "flash" from people, my ability to see past seems to have gotten lost admist the daily challenge of showering whilst listening to the Reds beat each with plastic golf clubs in the playroom.
I don't often mention the Tingle - it either elicts smirks of disbelief or an almost immediate weirded-out expression from those who don't know me well. I can't, and never have been able to read minds, nor can I "see" the future. Well, not exactly.
It's mostly insignificant stuff that floats through my mind and I usually choose to keep it to myself, or share with my husband as we ready ourselves for bed. It mystified and frustrated Mark for several years, these random flights of fluff - he's a black-and-white sort of fellow and as a chemist, was firmly of the mindset that if science can't prove it, it can't be. Playing card games used to make him crazy and he'd leave the table, seething at my utter lack of skill, yet, strange habit of winning every stinkin' hand, while apologetically explaining it was "like a tingle in my head." These days, however, he's well accustomed to my ramblings and is keen to watch with me, to see if any of my "tingles" come to fruition. (His mum is also a truly gifted healer, a trait which Mark seems to have inherited and grudgingly accepted about himself. )
Good thing, really, as it seems that our beloved Magical Matthew is the newest recruit to "Team Tingle." This kid - he KNOWS shit. Weird, insignificant stuff, just like me, but sometimes, sometimes he gets this look on his face, like he's listening to someone talking intently. Once or twice, I've seen him give a quiet nod or frown, as though acknowledging the end of a conversation, or a thought. Or a memory.
Once I asked him who he was talking to - expecting a host of names, as Matthew has a veritable playground of imaginary friends, who spend a GREAT deal of time getting blamed for naughty behaviour, rescuing other imaginary friends from untold dangers or insisting on sliced cheese and pickles for breakfast, please and thank you. This particular morning, however, Matthew's reply gave me pause: "I'm just listening, Mummy. Sometimes my head tells me things."
Most nights, Matthew hunkers down in my bed for sleep, and I transfer him to his own when I'm ready to call it a day. The routine seldom varies: we arrange blankets and Lamby and Ellliephant into position and then I snuggle him while we recount our favourite parts of the day. Then, we wait for ONE car to pass by outside, and I kiss him, whisper words of love and comfort, thank him for choosing me and amble downstairs. Lately, Matthew has begun to tell me what kind of car will drive by and I'll be damned if he's almost always right.
Some weeks back:
"Mummy, stay for two cars, ok?"
"No, Matthew. I'll stay for one only. You know the rule."
"It's ok, Mummy, there are two cars coming together. Sort of."
"Oh, really?" (Heavy on the disbelieving tone)
"Yes. A white car, like a police car, but different. Different words. And a blue van, like Ryan's Daddy's, but bigger."
I kid you not, no sooner had those words left his mouth, than a WHITE car, a security company logo clearly written on its doors sailed past the closed window and my open mouth. Followed almost immediately by a dark blue van, a Dodge Caravan just like our neighbour drives, only taller, due to the storage box strapped to its roof.
"Wow, Matthew!" Much delighted squealing from me, "How'd you know that?"
An elegant shrug from my yawning son. "I just do."
Does he ever. In the weeks since, Mark and I have both been witness to similar instances of random "knowing". We popped by my inlaws' workplace last week, believing that only my father-in-law would be there, as my mother-in-law was off and chasing appointments that afternoon. We told the boys this as we unstrapped their wriggling little bodies from the confines of their carseats.
"Ganny will be here any minute, Mummy!" Matthew announced, flinging himself out of the car and heading toward to parking lot entrance, away from the office for which we were bound.
"No, Matthew, Ganny won't be here, remember? She's working out of the office today."
"No, Mummy. She's coming here now. She'll be here any minute."
"Matthew!" a bit flustered now, "Ganny is no..."
I stopped talking as I watched Matthew rush toward the car turning into the drive. Ganny.
"Any minute now. Wow." This was Mark, equally stunned.
A few days ago, I escaped the shackles of domesticity for a Weight Watcher's meeting. (Hey, it's the small stuff.) Popped by the grocery store and returned home, less than two hours later. As I came through the door (1.5 pounds lighter) Mark handed me a freshly-brewed coffee. As in, JUST through the filter, literally, into my steaming cup.
"Wow. Great timing, Daddy! Thanks!"
"Oh, don't thank me. Matthew was eating his snack here at the table and turned to me and said, 'Mummy will be home in about six minutes, Daddy'."
Mark gamely put the coffee pot on and four minutes later, watched my car pull into the driveway and a smug, "I-told-you-so!" look settle onto Matthew's freckled face.
Sure, some of this stuff could be explained away. Like, Matthew knowing when I'd be home could just be that he's learning to gauge time and I'm often the same time gone, every Saturday morning. Or Ganny arriving unexpectedly - could just be a fluke.
But me, knowing what I do? Matthew's tingles are strong indeed. What a long, strange, GLORIOUS trip this is gonna be!