Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Before and After

Becoming a mother makes you keenly aware of the moments before and after. The moments they are born, the moments they smile, and we hope never to experience the moments that they are gone from us. But, they can be gone in a blink...

Yesterday brought the heartbreaking news of a mother plunged into every mother's worst nightmare, when her youngest child was taken in a tragic accident. In one horrific moment her life was forever changed.

I don't think I felt true vulnerability and fear until I had a child. This part of parenthood is the proverbial blessing and curse; my fierce love for my children has heightened my appreciation for the little things in life, but it has also heightened my apprehension of how quickly and alarmingly easily they can be taken from me.

Welcoming our second child has meant handling the challenge of logistically managing an infant and an inquisitive creature of pure impulse who is our two year old. For me, it was the single most terrifying aspect of becoming a mother again. I've handled it by confronting it head on and figuring it out one anxiety ridden moment at a time. I had to make an uneasy peace with not being able to control all situations all the time by digging deep for a fundamental faith that my children are first God's children, and they are merely given into my flawed care for a time.

I look into their little perfectly beautiful faces, and pray, ALOT. I pray that they will be protected, and that I will be divinely guided in their care and keeping so that they are able to do what they have been placed here to do. But it doesn't prevent my heart from stopping regularly, such as it did when my husband relayed how my son had very nearly stepped into traffic on a solo outing with my him yesterday morning. Nor does it ease the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach, such as that I felt (and feel) when I heard of the tragedy of another mother and family the very same day.

Because, it could have been me. How very different that moment for my family could have been.

In the craziness of my daily life, I try to take time each day to appreciate this, and to not live in fear, but in gratitude that I have them another moment. And my heart bleeds for the mothers who do not.

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