I'm walking down an unfamiliar urban street, trying to find my way home. Every once in a while, a car passes.
A small, brown and white dog with the face of a pitbull is following me.
I look up and down the street-- hoping its owner is nearby.
But there's no one else.
Just me and this dog-- who walks behind me, head down, letting go a low, menacing growl.
Quickly, I cross to the other side of the street.
The dog doesn't follow.
But now, the street is filled with traffic. I hear the sounds of many car engines, drivers leaning on horns, a bus rumbling by.
Large numbers of people move along the sidewalk -- where only a moment before it had been empty.
Among those people are two young teenage girls whom I recognize immediately as Emma and Michelle -- the girls who watched our kids last Saturday night.
When they reach where I'm standing, Emma is talking on her cell phone, while Michelle stands next to her, laughing about something I can't make out.
I turn away from them, look across the street, and see Joseph-- surrounded by strangers.
Oh my God.
How could I have forgotten about him?
Joseph sees me and -- looking very relieved -- slowly makes his way across the street.
Standing in front of me, he sways slightly-- and in a strange, faint voice, says:
"Mom, I don't feel right. I-- I think I'm having a see- "
His eyes roll back, his chest convulses, then he drops to the ground.
Traffic noise, people's voices, everything -- except for Joseph's desperate gasps -- sound very far away.
I look down at him and, for a moment, feel paralyzed.
What do I do?
I have to do something.
He could die.
"Where's the black bag?" I hear myself ask frantically. "The glucagon! I need to give him glucagon!"
Michelle hands me my black backpack. Both girls stand there staring, looking frightened.
I rip through the pack, pull out our blue medical kit, and search for the red plastic case-- all the while tears stream over my cheeks.
I don't know how to do this! I can't do this! I can't!"
Hands shaking, I open the case -- stare at the syringe, the little vial-- and remember.
Inject the liquid into the powder, shake gently, draw the mixture back into the syringe.
"I can do this. I can do this. I can do this... " I say aloud-- trying to block out any doubt.
"Emma!" I yell, while swirling the vial, "Call 911!"
She looks stunned, as if I'd slapped her, and then punches in the numbers.
Grasping the large syringe, thumb against its plunger, I turn back to Joseph.
He's unconscious; his body, still convulsing.
Where do I give this to him? A muscle. That's right, it should go in a muscle."
I pull up his sleeve, hold the needle inches from the top of his arm, and then...
Heart, racing; cheeks, wet.
It was a dream. Just a dream. A horrible dream...
Even so, I close my eyes and review the steps.
Over and over.
And then try hard to return to that urban street-- to see myself give him the shot.
To know that, if it happens, he'll be okay.