Last night, I was staring at my daughter as she slept. Because that’s what mothers do. We stare at our children while they sleep. And our hearts break into a million tiny pieces with the weight of our love for them. It’s both scary and exhilarating to know that I can love so much.
I never realized it was possible. It’s funny how ridiculously naïve I was when I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter. I was certain that I’d never cut it as a mother. I was too selfish, too childish, too busy, too inexperienced. I was too-everything-but-ready to have a baby.
And then I had her. The minute I laid eyes on her, I was in love. She was everything and more. I was certain that I could never love like that again.
Until I had my second.
And it was love all over again, just as intense and just as head-over-heels.
I am so in love with my children that it terrifies me.
The world is a terrifying place like it never was before. Things that were insignificant before are being analyzed in a new light, a wide-eyed with fear sort of light.
The swings at the playground? Scary. Have you ever noticed how dangerously high you can push a child and there’s nothing — nothing — holding them to their seats except for their own strength.
The stove top in the kitchen? Scary. How can I let my daughter help me with the cooking like Pinterest tells me I should when there’s danger all around?
The chopsticks at the restaurant? Scary. Don’t you know how many children put out an eye with easily overlooked objects?
This consuming fear makes me want to safeguard my children by whatever means necessary. To enclose them in bubble wrap to prevent any harm from coming to them. To protect them with all the force of my love.
But every day, I concur this terror inside of me. I take a deep breath, say a silent prayer, and let the worry go.
Instead, I let my daughter explore the world that is awaiting her. I let her uncover all the wonder that is around her so that one day she will be ready to concur the world head on. I let her natural curiosity lead her to her own discoveries.
It’s not easy being a mother. My life is in the tiny hands of two adorable little girls who are already growing up way too fast. I might not have felt ready to be a mother all those years ago but I’ve realized something along the way. I’ve realized that I’ll never be ready when it comes to them.
I’ll never want to push them higher on the swings like they want me to. I’ll never want them to help me make daddy’s favourite soup like they beg to do. I’ll never want to let them try out the chopsticks like they are positive they can use.
But I’ll do it anyway.
I’ll swallow my fear and I’ll let them fly like they’re supposed to.