Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Friday, April 22, 2011

When The Stars Come Out...

During the day I try to be strong.

I try to act like my heart isn't smashed in to a million pieces.

I try and keep it together for my son: I act like any other parent - taking him to the park when I can, going on walks, drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, making lunch together, having tickle wars, doing all of the things that a "normal" parent should do.

I smile strongly at the faces with sad eyes, I pretend I am being strong and that everything is okay.

But when night time rolls around and it's just me with my feelings and my keyboard (or my journal, thanks to a friend who thought I should pen down some personal thoughts), I am not collected at all.

I am a grieving mother.

A mess.

I have these gangly awkward empty arms that long to hold my tiny baby.

I have this hole in my heart that I can't even begin to describe.

And I have these fears.

So many fears.

How do I even begin to address them? I am terrified to let Landon out of my sight because he is the only child I have left and the closest thing I have to Leila, not to mention he is my baby. But now he has this added pressure: he has to be healthy and perfect, no matter what... Because I can't bear the thought of anything ever being wrong with him.

Is this different than before? No, not really. I have always cared for and worried about the safety of my child...

But I will be the first to admit that I have gone to extremist levels - in my head at least... The fears creep on me when I least expect it. One little cough or sputter, a scrape, a fall, or an attempt at a new skill... I find myself fighting an internal battle between letting my child be a normal two year old, and sheltering him from any potential harm no matter how large or small.

Don't worry. I choose the first. Though the fears are there, I am finding ways to deal with them. I still keep a close and watchful eye, but I try not to coddle... I don't want my son to grow up emotionally crippled because I am too afraid to let him experience life. But I can't even begin to describe the overwhelming power of these fears.

I can't remember life before them.

Was I this afraid of a simple cough before Leila passed away? Was I this scared of a jungle gym?

Is this normal?

A couple weeks ago, while I was home visiting my family, I took Landon to a park to let him play. I was distracted while talking to my cousin and Landon ventured off to play on a climbing tower... Before I knew it he was halfway up the monkey bars. When I turned around and saw him, my heart jumped into my throat. At that moment I realized two things. 1) My baby boy is growing up, and 2) Sometimes I am going to have to let go a little in order for him to grow.

Maybe I am growing up, too.

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