Sunday, April 01, 2007

Real Moms

Our favorite Boobless Brigade Mistress tagged me with the "Real Moms..." meme. Unlike listing my shoe size and the last song I listened to, this one actually requires writing a post. Pssshhh. Girl knows I can't say "no" to her and is exploiting it, if you ask me.

So my first thought was "Real Moms are afraid," because I'd been meaning to write about how terrifying motherhood is. But if you look back at the blogger that tagged BBM, Lizard Eater, you see that has already been done, better than I could have, certainly.

So. "Real Moms are saggy." Yeah, but not much to write about that.

"Real Moms are tired." Yeah, but again, sort of self-explanatory.

I keep coming back to "Real Moms are afraid." I mean, besides the love I feel for my boys, I don't know any other emotion I've felt for them as strongly as fear. It's wound so tightly around my heart that it feels indistinguishable from the love. The more I love them, the more terrified I am of losing them. In this whole "Let's Be Honest About Motherhood and Write Books and TV Shows About How Crazy It Is" atmosphere, I wish someone would be honest about being crazy-terrified about losing their kids.

And I do mean crazy. For a reasonably logical person, I've become awfully superstitious about this. Every night I pray. I've always said a prayer asking for blessings for all the people I love (when I was a child, I used to name everyone, until I shortened it by referring to "my list of usuals") and thanking Him for good things. Now, every night I say Thank You for my beautiful boys, for their health, for their wit and intelligence and sweetness. I know how lucky I am.

But the prayer also holds a tinge of bargaining, just in case G_d is up there saying, "Now, whose kids am I going to take today?" he won't look at me because I really do appreciate them. I must - I say Thank You for them every night, don't I? No lessons need to be learned here, thanks.

Then I feel awful because I have friends and relatives who have lost children who were no less appreciative or loving of their kids than I am. Of course I don't really believe that losing one's child is some sort of horrible life lesson. It's a completely base, ridiculous impulse. Like the impulse that led me, shortly after both A. and Ben's births, to search out websites about infant loss. See G_d? Look how unafraid I am, how willing I am to face other people's pain! See? You don't need to make me go through it! Just skip over me, thanks!

I'm more afraid for Ben than I am for A. I tell myself that it's because he almost died at birth because that's logical. Thank goodness I've never been prescient, because if I had ever accidentally predicted something like who was on the other end of a phone call, I'd think my fear for him is an omen. As it is now, if he's fussing in his bed and stops, I have to go make sure he's still breathing. There's something about the brightness of his smile and his sweet little laugh that is so beautiful, I'm afraid it will burn out.

I remember hesitantly mentioning to a mother in my mom's group that sometimes I was overwhelmed by visions of something happening to one of them. She agreed, and, hopeful that I wasn't alone in this anxiety, I ventured further, "I think about it at least once a day." She frowned and said, "No, it doesn't hit me that often." Oh, OK, so it IS just me, then.

Ironically, I'm not super-over-protective. I don't panic at bumps and bruises, I let them climb stuff and ride their bikes in our cul-de-sac. I know I can do some things to protect him, but on a larger scale, I am not in control. And I know that so clearly as I'm falling asleep (no wonder I get insomnia). I start out politely praying that I'll get to see both boys grow up, and before I know it I'm silently roaring to G_d "YOU CAN'T HAVE THEM!" with my eyes flashing and my teeth bared.

I think lots of parents are able to shake the fear back to some dark crevice where I guess it stays quiet or maybe they can ignore it. For whatever reason, mine is quite active especially at night as I'm falling asleep. Then in the daytime it's a bit quieter. I'm reluctant to let it get too quiet, though. At the very least, it keeps me grateful.


Boobless Brigade Master said...

You're not crazy.
Coming from me, this may or may not comfort you. LOL.

When Daisy was younger I always had a fear of her being kidnapped.
As in...the people that let their children run wild? Nothing ever happens to them! It's the children that are watched like a hawk and than the parent turns around for a milli-second...and they're gone.
I was a hawk watcher.
And the bad news never goes away.
I can't watch her like a hawk anymore now that she's 17.
Now, even though I know where she is 24/7...I worry about her safety there. Did she see that guy slip something in her soda? Did she scan the parking lot before exiting work at closing time? Is she ALWAYS aware of her surroundings like I've told her to be a million-billion-gazillion times?
You know I don't believe in any
g-ds, but every single wish I make whether it's a penny fountain, b-day candles, shooting always for the health and safety of everyone I know;)

Beastarzmom said...

Remember back when M was born? He was less than a month old when Adam was abducted and then found murdered. I thought I was the biggest masochist around - I was glued to the TV, in constant tears and bargaining anything and everything for the safety of my brand new baby (who clearly wasn't going to go checking out the toy aisle without me...)
I haven't gotten much better.

Lunasea said...

So you're telling me it never gets any better? Terrific.

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