Nothing brings you to your senses, and your true self like fear. If you want to see the heart of a person, just tell them - heck, hint really- that a loved one has been hurt. Then you begin to see what a person is made of, and that we are all human.
For the sake of not being overly dramatic, let me just tell you that nothing has happened to any of my loved ones. I guess my Mother's Imagination ran away with me.
Tonight , Anna decided that she wanted to go with daddy to watch him play softball. She has been wanting to do this all summer, and I have felt guilty for not letting her go because I didn't feel like chasing a 14-16 month old around in 90 degree grimy, sticky, sweat your face off weather- thus getting no rest from what should be a relatively enjoyable outing for the whole family.
Normally, I usually am an over protective- and at times- over bearing mother. It's something that I have disliked about myself for the last... oh, lets say ... 5 1/2 years? I struggle to change this , and I strive to simply be more than the ones who made me. Anyway...... Usually I have this need to be just a few feet away from Anna. You see, I have this general mistrust in the world as a whole, seen as I have survived various types of abuse from my mother and real father. I have been "programmed" to believe that if my own parents could do such things to me, I should expect no less from strangers.
This would be her last chance to go on an outing that would keep her out late, since school starts soon, and the fact that she begged her dad to go, I let her. Emma and I stayed at home, and we went upstairs to their room once she became bored with the hundreds of toys that render the playpen unusable. I watched Miami Ink (I am fascinated with the artistic side of tattooing, and the back story of each customer), Emma played with her Little People. 8 pm rolls by, the time that John and Anna should be home. Emma is having a moment of fussiness at 8:45 pm and I am unable to get to the phone. A little before 9 we went downstairs to see who called.
I noticed it is a number from the hospital John works at. I realize that since he is on call for the week to cover the IT department after hours, he probably had to go in. I call the cell, nothing. I call again, nothing. I page him 3 times, call the cell phone 2 more times, and call his desk 4 times. Still nothing.
This is where my wild and hairy Mother's Imagination begins to rear it's ugly, hairy head. Why isn't he calling me back? Holy Shania Twain, he works in a hospital, you dope. Maybe something happened... And in my worried, grief clouded brain I begin to wonder and doubt that I had taught my 5 year old anything at all. What if while her dad was at bat, she walked away and a stranger took her? What if she went to the bathroom by herself and someone followed her in and hurt her? She went missing, they found her hurt...WHY ISN'T HE CALLING ME BACK?
Thirty of the longest, most agonizing minutes pass, when I decide to call his desk again. He answers.
" Haven't you gotten any of my pages?"
"No, sorry honey... Just as we were leaving the game, I was called into work."
"I have been trying to reach you, since you didn't answer I was worried..." At which point he did the most wonderful thing he could have done at that moment, he handed the phone to my baby so I could hear her voice.
Of course, I tried very hard to choke back the tears, but they came anyway when I said that I was glad they were ok. "OK?" she asked. Yes, I explained, I was worried that something had happened to them because daddy didn't call me back.
" I didn't get into any trouble..." she trailed off while handing the phone back to her dad.
I talked to John a few minutes, then he said that they were headed home. I had my self a gut-wrenching cry of relief, and realized many things:
I don't know if I have mentioned this yet, but I have an overly active and dreadful imagination
I regret all the time I have wasted with her.
I don't tell her enough how wonderful and good she is.
All of the sarcasm ( gee, where'd she get that from?), temper tantrums, sassing, mistakes, and down right disobedience... None of it matters, I love her so much it hurts, and I don't know how I could ever live without her.
And that, indeed, I would not be able to live without her.
I would miss:
the feel of her cheek on mine as we snuggle
the way her hair smells as we snuggle
that hysterical laugh when she is up to no good
that sparkle in her eye when she is thinking about being up to no good
her calling me momma
her homemade cards that always say "I Love You"
watching her and her baby sister hug
her ability to test the limits of her bodily functions in public, without an ounce of embarrassment
When they arrived home, Emma greeted them with hugs and kisses, as did I, and I greeted Anna with some mac and cheese, her favorite. John then told me that Anna was a really good girl, and stayed where he could see her the whole time, just like he asked. She went as far as to trail him on the other side of the fence when he coached first, or played short stop.
This made me realize that we have taught her well. She is such a smart girl, and I have worked really hard to balance a healthy fear of strangers and safety without going overboard. Well, I hope.
I have survived an imaginary tragedy once again, just barely to realize something else... One day she is going to want to sleep over, go out with friends, date. *Gasp*One day, she is going to leave us and head off to college, and then get married. One day, all of those things that I realized tonight will come true.
But I can't think about that now, I can only think about today and how I will change tomorrow. I am going to enjoy the hugs, smiles, snuggling, laughter, silly jokes, homemade cards, and yes- even the farts- while I can.