Baby Mine

When I was very pregnant with Connor, I remember being startled awake by a bad dream. (I had many a bad dream when I was pregnant). I remember waking up to the feeling of being totally unsafe. And that my unborn baby was unsafe. I remember rubbing my big, swollen belly as I was coming down from the adrenaline high of the nightmare. And fear, dread, worry, anxiety, and reality fell upon me like a concrete rain.

This world is a harsh, cold, scary place sometimes.
And as much as I wanted to meet my baby and see his precious, innocent, little face...
I knew how safe he was
nestled all snug and cramped in my den de utero.
I wanted him to stay in. Where I could keep him safe forever.
Such was my intense desire to protect my unborn cub.

Obviously, I can't fight natural processes and biology.
He came to us in a flurry.
In all of his pink, wrinkled, wide-eyed glory.
And my fears were forgotten.

But mostly I delighted in my baby boy.
We played.
We laughed.
We, scratch that, I sang.
We toddled.
We messed about.
His entire mode of entertainment was wrapped up in mommy and daddy.
Yes, he made friends and joined school. Where he, very awkwardly, made his way through social interactions.
And that was all OK. It was within my safety zone.
Playdates have been highly supervised, they are somewhat within my control. I set the course, to some extent. All of Connor's friends live far away. We don't really know anyone in our neighborhood. So, it has made this whole safety thing a little easier.
I had tricked myself into thinking that I found a way to keep my baby safe, even though he's baby stepping his way through the world.

One of my favorite pictures. Gracie was only about 1 month old or so.

Sunday afternoon, reality came a-calling.
Something so innocent, a milestone I had not even thought about & was not yet prepared for came knock-knock-knocking on our door.
Our neighbor's 8 year old son, and his 6 year old stepbrother asked Connor to come out and play.
Come out and play?
What is this crazy talk you speak of, child?

I instantly perked up and thought that was so nice. I hadn't yet begun to think clearly.
Rav told the boys Connor wasn't feeling well. Maybe another day.
You nasty, white-liar, you. I first think to myself.
Rav shut the door.
We had a brief discussion about the kinds of kids they are.
And that was the end of it.

Fast forward a few hours & Connor sees the kids outside & wants to ride his bike.
OK. I tell him. But I'll stay outside with you.
Rav & Gracie join us.
Connor is doing great staying on the side walk with his tricycle.
While this miscreants have the audacity to scoot down the street on their scooters with wild abandon. Wild, I tell you. Wild.

Connor is pedaling his little heart out to keep up with his new friends. But his tricycle is no match for the speed of these scooters. (And remember..his scooter was stolen.)
**I'm not insinuating they stole it. I know they didn't. I was just saying that because Connor now has no scooter himself.**
His handle bars begin to thrash wildly, the front wheel is gnashing to and fro. He begins to veer off into the street, then NO! it veers back onto the sidewalk and crashes in our yard.
He's OK & no worse for the wear. In fact, he probably enjoyed it. He probably got a rush.

But our sidewalk is so close to the road.
Cars drive like maniacs down our street.
And remember how bad I want to protect my wee one.

I want him to have friends. I do.
I want so for him to be outside on beautiful 80 degree, sun-filled days.
I want him to ride his bike.
But the thought of something happening to him is almost more than I can bear.

I don't consider myself to be a recluse or one of those nutty people who is completely consumed by fear.
That was until the day that little boy came into my life.
And my everyday existence, while filled with many meaningful things, is now wrapped up in the caring and loving of these not one, but now two precious,little beings that I had a hand in creating.

How did something as simple as playing outside become such an ordeal?
Are mothers hiding in their homes thinking the same thing? Or are they not even aware that the time will come when kids will come knocking on your door. Requesting the presence of your child. To play. And you look out toward the immediate world...the cars, the streets. And know that your baby is growing up. Things are changing.
Or am I totally bonkers (wait, maybe you shouldn't answer that - even though I know the answer)?
I don't want to keep him from community.
Or from living life.

I want to give him strong wings to fly & soar.
But his mommy is trying so desperately to hold on.
I can almost feel what it was like to hold him on my chest and know that I would lay it all down for him.
I guess for now all I can do is hold my breath.
Hope for the best.
And watch my babies as they are just...

beginning to fly.

9 ripples in the pond:

deb said...

That's the trick, isn't it? Finding that fine balance. Let me know when you do, I'd like to know.

Oh, The Joys said...

I totally understand. We live on a busy street too and I just HOVER.

maggie said...

That is a great picture. I can see why it is a favorite. Just the toes tell so much.

mcewen said...

You're heading on a steady path.
Best wishes

thailandchani said...

Deb already said what I was going to say. There is a fine balance that must be met so that your children don't pick up on that fear. At the same time, they have to be aware.

Geez, I can't imagine being a parent these days!



Kerry said...

Great pics!

Slackermommy said...

Love the photos! I have a hard time letting go also. My oldest is at the age where she's riding in other parents cars and spending more time away from home and away from ME. I really rely on my faith to kick in that she will be all right. My parents did not let me do anything because of their fear and I hated it. I ended up sneaking around to get freedom. I don't want to do that to my kids but damn it is so hard to let go.

jen said...

oh babe. what a lovely post. all we can do, tab, is our best.

and we've got to let them breathe a little too (much later, ok)

carrie said...

It is so very hard.

You put it beautifully, keeping them safe. It never ends, even when you let go a little (when they're LOTS older).