I had heard before that having a child is like allowing your heart to walk around outside your body for the rest of your life, but I don’t know how seriously I took that claim before giving birth.
The fact is that my daughter is now three and I am still consistently amazed that I could possibly love her this much. I can’t say no one warned me.
I really don’t understand how this all works. She drives me crazy all day, she fights sleep for two or three hours, and then when she is asleep I go in to look at her and give her a kiss. When I’m desperate to get a minute by myself and I get out of the house and it doesn’t take long to start missing her.
There’s so much of me in her – my mother actually used the phrase ‘what goes around comes around’ – it comes as a constant surprise that I like her as much as I do.
We went out to an event yesterday and spent four hours wandering around, playing, watching shows. It was great, but at the end of the day the moment that stands out for me is when we were watching Belle read a story and she had all the kids participating. They sat on the floor in front of the stage following her directions. But not mine. Mine almost sat on the floor, but decided Mommy’s lap was the safer place. She didn’t do the wave or curtsy or the dragon’s roar. She was timid, exactly like I was when I was a kid.
Exactly like I often am now.
I think back to that little moment in a long day and it pains me to think of her missing out on fun because she has to pause for that moment of shyness. To think of the regret that I so often felt when I took that same moment before allowing myself to have fun.
I think she’s awfully special, but I know that there’s a lot of shit waiting for her out there with the good. I tell her over and over again how much I love her without really being able to convey just how much that is, and without being able to guarantee that the rest of the world will love her just as much.