I love my family. I love my husband; by jove I love that man. I love my friends, the whole crazy lot of them. They’re our village.
But this kid…. This kid is different.
Maybe it’s the instant nature of it. I felt it the moment I held him, and I know it’s not like that for some people. It can take a little while to get your head and heart around this new being in your life. But it hit me full force, crazy pregnant lady hormones or nay.
And almost with the same force, I felt the fierce grip of fear.
I looked into the eyes of this tiny baby and realised that although I could with all confidence say that I would do anything for him, be the best kind of parent I could possibly be and give him all the love and support he would ever need – his future was not entirely mine to design.
And that scared the bejesus out of me.
I don’t mean this in a scary-dance-mom kind of way. I don’t have my sights on his career or academic/sporting life (though, I have a big plans for the use of novelty outfits and the like). I mean that I realised all of the things that could have been his life and that could still be his life simultaneously. Every news story, horror story, health warning and natural event that I’d never taken much notice of suddenly hit me like a tonne of bricks. Talk about an empathy baptism of fire.
But what to do with this fear? It can devour you whole if you let it, and dampen that pure love that made you radiate. But I think recognizing that it comes with the territory, that being able to love with such force has to come with a flipside of fear, makes it somehow bearable.
I suppose it may sound melancholic, but it’s important to discuss it. It’s only when we talk about our fears that we can recognise them, understand why they’re there and figure out how to live with them. I don’t want to helicopter around August, or instill a fear of the world in him. I don’t want to bang on about what could go wrong, and I don’t want those thoughts to consume me either. I want him to develop a healthy curiousity and interest in what’s happening around him, in other people and I want him to find his own place in the world.
I still worry. I will worry. It’ll probably give me
more grey hairs and the like. But I deal with it knowing that it’s going to be there regardless, that all I can do is love him with everything I have, and that in order to enjoy this beautiful gift of bursting love, I have to accept it will always be there.
I think I can be cool with that.