Honesty compels me to acknowledge that I knew what I was getting into. Honesty demands I say that's totally hogwash. As if anyone can know the future. That's for the science fiction writers and philosophers to figure out. So I didn't know. I did choose. This was no accidental action. I embraced the consequences with 100% ignorance and leaped into my life.
And from the first moment, I was fully committed. I changed my daily routine, my work schedule, my diet... Everything was impacted. Everything was changed. I was serene. I knew I'd chosen well. You captivated my heart, my mind, my soul. I would do anything to care for you. I remember feeling rage overcome me, like the slow relentless flow of lava from the mouth of the volcano. I'd realized the world would hound you for your gentle heart, cause you to question your worth, never fully appreciate you. I wanted to protect you with my lava rage, surround you with it, make you an island, safe. I resisted. My rage poured through me, carving paths of sorrow and regret, melting me.
So when you say, don't worry mom, you don't understand. How can I explain it isn't worry that drives me. Or not mostly worry. Yes. I worry. I don't usually share those started-awake-scared-you-are-in-pain-or-lost-and-I'm-not-there moments. You both had nightmares, I don't have to imagine your screams. I don't worry about you. Any more than I worry about my breathing. I care for you, from the first moment you were conceived until my consciousness is no longer capable of perceiving you.
The process of mom-ing is a constant hold and release. And sometimes I was too slow to hold, others I was too quick to release. And there were those rare jewels when it all came together and it shone with the working out. With the sparkle in your eyes when you did it. I was so proud.
The best way to hold you now is to release you.
I believe in you. And I believe that you will always do your best and that you will remember to do so with grace and compassion.
I know I have to accept that you will be ... everything. And that part of everything is pain. And suffering. I've seen what happens to people who are sheltered from the painful realities. I chose never to cripple you that way. And I had to resist the urge, like Satan's offer of water in the wilderness, so tempting the desire to make it easier for you.
I succumbed. Too often I am sure. Less often than I wanted to. I protect my tea cup collection because I value it. How much more do I value you? And I showed it by not protecting you.