Sometimes, the love I feel for my children takes me by surprise. It’s not that I forget I love them. It’s more about the busyness of days. Our time together is about learning math or reading books. Sometimes, it’s about discipline and arguing and refereeing brother battles. Every minute of everyday is packed with something to do or say or think or feel. By bedtime, I’m spent. I just want to curl up in bed and read a book until my eyelids drift closed and I can rest.
In the middle of the tempest that is parenting two boys, love is something that floats all around you, like the ocean. You might forget it is the ocean at all until the tide jerks you out to sea. Love for my sons is like the air that I breathe, rarely pausing to think about it’s existence, until it swirls around me like a storm. Then my breath is caught and my heart is stopped, feeling a primal instinct deep in my gut, the origin of motherhood, the place it all began.
On Tuesday, I had one of those moments. David is doing public school again this year. We live close enough for him to walk. On Tuesday, when it was time to leave, I walked him down our road and another, until the crossing guard was in sight. Then, I sent him on his way. As I stood on the curb, watching my eight-year-old take confident strides away from me, fear screamed inside me. In my head, I heard:
“What if someone takes him? These abductions get more and more prevalent. What if a van slows down and snatches him? How will I know? What could I do?”
“What if a driver doesn’t pay attention? What if they fly around the bend and hit him?”
I had to resist running after him, showing him that Mommy is more afraid of the boogeyman than he is. I need to teach him independence and how to make wise decisions, but I don’t need to teach him fear.
So I stood there, love twisting in my gut, proud and also terrified.
It surprised me again… how much I love these boys.