Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Driving home from Pink's pre-school today I listened to the full rendition of her day. She talked about learning how to call 9-1-1. This is great, because she and I have been talking about "what to do in emergencies" at home.
So in an attempt to review, I ask her "In what types of situations would you CALL 9-1-1? Like what types of reasons?"
"If there was a fire or if a stranger was in the house." She answers confidently.
I add: "Or if Mommy isn't waking up, like if Mommy fell down or was really sick and she couldn't move or answer you... you would call 9-1-1 so an ambulance would come and take me to the hospital and they'd make me all better."
Some people try to skirt these issues, but the fact is I don't know if I'll just keel over one day. I mean, those things can happen and the thought of my 4,3 and 17 month old in the house for hours and hours without me able to care for them just kills me.
Well, though I said it with a happy, positive tone of voice, I guess that was all too much information for her little brain to process. I see her cherubic face, bookended by pigtails, with her wide, golden eyes staring at me in the rearview mirror.
"Mommy," she starts, with an oddly calm smile on her face. "I hope that doesn't happen because it would make me cry." I see that something isn't right about her smile... it's odd; out of place. It's the smile of someone who doesn't know what to do with her emotions so she smiles like everything is alright. It reminds me of... me.
Then she adds "I think I'm going to cry right NOW." With that, a single tear trails down her cheek and she self-consciously wipes it away, still smiling but staring out the window... trying to act all grown up and nonchalant but overwhelmed at how lost she'd be without me - at the mere THOUGHT of being without me.
At that moment, my heart was both full and broken, my spirit so complete and maternal, and my life so joyful yet serious with the weight of my importance to these little lives in this car. I felt I might cry and burst and soar all at the same time. I also felt apprehension at the fragility of life and prayed a quiet prayer that I would never die - at least not while they were this young. Not when such a loss would alter the very core of who they are - forever.
Suddenly, I was reminded of just how important I am to Pink. I should already know this, right? But it's like I know it, but I don't KNOW it... ya know? She seems to spend each day logging in complaints of unfairness, boredom, and cries and whines about every little thing. She has fun with her Dad. She listens to her Dad. She cuddles with her Dad. With me, it's the daily drudge. I forget that I am the apex of the entirety of her universe and that I am one of the handful of people in her life whom she truly loves beyond measure.
Her sun rises and sets around me. It can drive me crazy, her "neediness" of my every ounce of attention, but there is nothing so sweet as to have someone love you this much. Totally. Completely. Unconditionally. The way you need water and air. The way I love her. The way I love CB, Tink, Rella and my husband. So much it hurts. So much, the mere fleeting thought of one of them getting hurt or being gone brings you to tears.
What else could I do? I pulled over in the CVS parking lot, climbed in the back seat, and wrapped her sweet little being up in my arms. And I swear, for a glorious moment, I think time literally stopped. Just for us.