Life is made up of millions of tiny moments that weave together to make the person that you are. Some of these moments are shrouded in sadness but so many of them are amazing and wonderful. For some reason I don’t understand, the bad moments, no matter how awful or devastating they are, never quite possess the same kind of power over me that the good ones have.
How is it that something so simple, some tiny, little act can save you for another minute, another day…. how is it that there are seemingly undramatic episodes in your life that can take such a hold over you?
She was crying, having just woken up from one of her smaller naps and Dean was in Olivia’s bedroom and the boys were with them leaving me out here in the silence listening to her breath as she slept. Until she began whimpering, it was just even breaths, the occasional sniffle and the sound of her swing swooping back and forth in front of the window.
It was just barely dark outside and so soft and silent and I picked her up slowly the way she likes and walked her out on the balcony so that she could share this beautiful time of the evening with me. Such a small moment, terribly uneventful but completely overwhelming just the same.
We stood out there for a long time her with her head on my shoulder and a fist in her mouth. I ran my cheek back and forth across the side of her head where the hair is softest and listened to the suckling noises she was making on her hand.
This is the softest thing I have ever felt…
Oh, my god! THIS IS THE SOFTEST THING I HAVE EVER FELT!!!
One internal thought or comment to yourself and suddenly it is like your chest is cracking wide open and your heart comes exploding through it. It’s hair. Just hair.
But it is her hair and it is on her head and I created this and I LOVE her and that soft hair and within seconds, that thing happens, the thing that happens to parents from time to time where you suddenly feel sick and dizzy from the unbelievable amount of varying emotions you suddenly feel. It’s like an attack or a total ambush on all things logical and mundane and suddenly…
There is nothing to do. There is nothing to say. You cannot think and you hold this little person just a little bit tighter and go to battle with yourself and your emotions.
It begins with love… a love so inexplicably perfect that you trust that all of the poets of the world who have ever written or claimed to know anything on the subject were true geniuses and that you know very well that they wrote only the words that manged to float to the surface of their brains and couldn’t reach far enough down there at the bottom to find any other desperate way to explain it to the rest of the world. But we get it. We really do.
And so first it is this kind of love, the kind that comes from that very place in the poet’s heart where no real vocabulary can reach it. And after the love, you suddenly become alarmed and this leads to rage like you have never felt before in your life.
It takes a normal, peaceful person like myself and it whispers softly in your ear these terrible words…
“someday… someone is going to break her heart…….”
It is quite literally as if someone stands behind you as you watch scenes of her life play out in front of you and they whisper and provoke and every single person who will ever cause her harm, who will carelessly abuse her feelings, shed her tears, make her feel just a little smaller than she did just moments ago…
suddenly, that person is going to pay.
And they don’t even exist, yet… not to me and not to her but somewhere out there are the inevitable hurts and mistakes that will be made and the ugly lessons about trust and faith and my god, I will wipe millions of her tears in her lifetime.
And you just become so angry, angry in a way that your eyes freeze in their place as if you can actually SEE these things happening and all you can think or feel is a hissing dare to the future abuser of your baby…
…. I will murder you….
You hear yourself thinking and maybe even saying it loud,”I dare someone to hurt her… I fucking dare them to…” and it is just the strangest thing, like someone else is thinking it altogether. That person is just so very afraid.
Yeah, I think it’s all about fear. You start out with the adoration and then you suddenly become terrified and this leads up to the rage you feel as you sit and imagine what you will do to the person who ever lays a hand on your little darling. By the time this happens, you have mind fucked yourself because you simply CANNOT feel such a powerful thing as love for your child and then suddenly think about their sadness or suffering all in the same minute without becoming enraged. If you can… then there is something wrong with you.
My daughter and I stood out there on that balcony listening to the trees sway and the cars pass in the distance. We felt the chill come biting through the air and we shivered together, got a blanket, wrapped up and held each other tighter. We talked, me in my adult seriousness and her in the deep wisdom of the hoots and coos she utters so eloquently. We stayed out there and watched the sky above us change colors and I spoke so softly to her just because I so badly needed to speak to someone and we just walked back and forth rocking slowly, her hair on my cheek…
She had my shirt wadded up in her tiny fists, clutching me as if she were afraid, yet strangely confident that I wasn’t letting her go. And her eyes got heavy, her breathing became more rhythmic and then she was snoring off again.
I am the luckiest person on the planet, I really am. I get to be her MOTHER. I will fight with her at times and for her at many more. I would kill for her or be killed. I will let her down but spend each and every single day of my life really trying hard not to and hating myself when I fail her. I get to snicker and feel so sorry for all of the people who don’t get to know her just as I am arrogant with pride that I get to. It’s not that I am taking credit for her or for any of the great things she will one day accomplish… it’s that I’m here on the inside. I KNOW HER. As others get proud that they made it into the VIP room, they’ve got nothing on me. I know Emi. I will know her every single day of her life. We will laugh and cry and share secrets and I will KNOW her.
This makes me so much better than everyone else. Really, it does. I expect everyone to fall down with jealousy even though I know that they are probably just thinking I’m a freak behind my back. But, oh well.
Everyone can laugh… HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!… if they so choose to because nothing beats what I have.
And now if you’ll excuse me. I have a tea party to attend.