I found out in the afternoon. I’d been out with friends all day and didn’t check my Facebook until then. I texted Big Daddy who confirmed some details.
And then my panic took over. My personal demon. My devil. The Princess was home safe and Baby Bee was with me, but my sweet Littlebit was still at school. She felt safe, but I didn’t.
These things make us feel unsafe. They grab our mother heart with their icy fingers and they become our little ones. Our babies. We cry. We cry into silky heads, the beautiful fragility of children becomes almost painful for us. The mother bear in us rears up on her hind legs and she founders because she knows that in these moments, we can do nothing. Simply hope that we stay untouched. There is nothing for us to fight. No place to lay our lives instead. No barter we can make to keep them safe. We want to fight for them. And if we cannot fight and win, we want the honor of their last moment. To ease them to the other side ourselves. To cloak them with our love. To give comfort. When it is all taken away, it becomes to much. Our mother heart breaks for our sisters. Whom we become in some small way in these moments.
The truth is, at the birth of our babies our heart divides. It resides inside them. It walks where they walk. We feel their joy and their sorrows. The little piece of our heart that walks with them completes ours like a puzzle. Even as they grow and become adults, their happiness and safety still seals the tiny piece of our heart that they carry with them to ours.
But in the dark moments. In the aftermaths when we allow ourselves to imagine, we feel how jagged the edges could be in their absence. If the little part they carry never returned. How it could slowly turn into a canyon.
Love them. Be generous with expressing it to them. Don’t do it because something you read made you hurt, doing it every day. Seal them with it. Cover them in it.
I took Littlebit’s face in my hands. I touched my forehead to hers.
“I love you.”, I whisper.
“Me too”, she says back.
“Forever.” I say, “Even when you’re gray and wrinkly like an old prune.”
“And if you’re ever afraid, remember how much Mommy loves you and then you won’t be as scared.”
She nods, solemn. And goes back to reading her book about Biscuit. And all I can do is hope that if it ever needs to be enough, that it is.