Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Before you have a baby if you read a lot of blogs as I do you read over and over that no one tells you how hard it’s going to be when you actually have a baby but that it is really really hard. And you read A LOT about how much you’re going to love this new baby person of yours and how that love is going to knock you sideways and leave you gasping with fear at the idea of anything ever ever happening to this child and that is all true. That does happen. It happened to me and should you ever have kids it will happen to you and sometimes it does keep you up at night while you lie awake wishing you could sleep, wishing for a break, and also thanking god that you don’t get one.

However what I was not prepared for because I hadn’t read about it anywhere was an immediate and often all consuming terror that I might die, that I could die at any moment, that I would die and so I would miss getting to see my son grow up.

I know that doesn’t make sense, because hi, I never WANTED to die before I had my son. I know I’m not explaining it right, somehow, but all I can tell you is that in the weeks after Eli was born I made Mr. E promise that if I died that he would tell Eli about me and I felt terrified, pretty much all the time, that somehow I would not get to be here for every part of this life that I’d created. Somehow the second Eli was born I really really really needed to be here to see every bit of his life unfold, and the fear of not being here for that was what started to keep me up at night, every night.

And I don’t know if this feeling goes away. I’m not sure. All I know is that being here and watching this kid grow up seems like pretty much the most amazing thing in the world to me now and the thought of not being here to watch this kid grow up seems unbearable.

Father’s Day is coming up. I didn’t realize it but Eli and I will be gone visiting relatives far away and Mr. E will miss out on his first father’s day with his son and that sucks. And there are things I wanted to say before I get on that plane. But rather than write a big overwrought mushy post about what an amazing father Mr. E is (although he is) and how much I love him and how I couldn’t live without him (I do and I could not) I thought I would say this.

As much as it terrifies me that I will die, that somehow I will not be here when my child learns to walk or talk or graduates from kindergarten or breaks his arm or loses his first tooth or falls in love for the first time or wrecks my car, as much as that keeps me up at night and as much as that thought makes me feel like I might throw up or stop breathing. Well. The other day Mr. E sat in the rocker in Eli’s room and held him on his lap and read him Blueberries for Sal as I sat on the floor next to them and although I did not say it at the time, that was the number one moment of my life so far.

And I’ll carry that moment in my heart forever. It is nowhere near all of what I want for my life and my son’s life and for my family for the rest of our lives, which I hope with all my heart will be long and healthy. But if for some reason that moment is all I get?

It would be enough.

Thank you, Mr. E.

And Happy Father’s Day.


Chris H said...

that was a gorgeous post mate.... I know exactly how you feel... as does every mother out there! WE all go through moments of panic thinking about "what ifs", even when our baby's are all grown up.... some things never change!

PastaQueen said...

Awww. The closest thing I've come to that feeling is hoping I wouldn't die before all of "The Lord of the Rings" movies came out or before "Lost" ends in 2010. Yeah, pretty shallow in comparison.

bazu said...

gorgeous post. what's that I hear? Is that my biological clock? What have you done, PN????

TB said...

Beautiful. I think that losing my mother when I was too young has made these same feelings come up for me. I know exactly how you feel.

randomfatgirl said...

Just had to let you know you are definitely NOT alone and I can totally fact, I've been awake since 4am thinking of that very thing!

Rah said...

Hi, PN. Your post left me gasping in amazement, because the same thing happened to me--not after my first child (son), when I just rolled along like nothing had changed, but after my 2nd (daughter) was born. I remember walking with her in my arms, tears streaming down my face, asking God just please to let me live to see her grow up. Perhaps there's something hormonal about it, who knows? Your post was beautiful, and your husband is a lucky man. Also in Nebraska, but not royalty.