So Jake has been in Portugal for several days now and I am sitting here thinking about how I have been a “single” parent for a week. For one week it was doable, but a lifetime of this; I literally don’t know how people do it. I don’t know how you would keep your children and animals happy, clean, and up on their doctor appointments. Not to mention home cooked food on the table, laundry and dishes done, the house clean, the yard mowed, the garden watered and weeded, the garbage taken out every week, the bills paid, church on Sunday, and still have time for fun and oh I don’t know sitting and breathing!? I guess you wouldn’t! I guess it just proves that being a parent wasn’t made to be a one person job and so it isn’t easy trying to do it on your own.
Oh lovely parenthood. Really, I do love it! Today Kylie and I were sitting outside in the shade on our patio. All Kylie Jo had on was a diaper. She was standing up holding on to the chair and I would tickly her chunky legs and say, “I gotcha”. She would turn around, look at me, and bend over with the good belly laugh. Then I would stop, let her catch her breath, and then we would do it all over again. That was the highlight of my day. It is amazing that something as small as a child’s’ laughter can, day in and day out, be the brightest part of your day.
Actually, her tears are sometimes the brightest part of my day too. That sounds bad, so let me explain. At night sometimes when we put her down to sleep she fights it for a minute or two. She will moan momaaa momaaa. The other night I walked in her room while this moaning was going on. She was standing up in her crib, and as soon as she saw me she put her arms out and said mommmaaaa. I don’t know if she actually associates me with the word or if it more is HELP, but my heart overflowed with love, joy, elation, and all the other good words that there are our there.
I still am just so overwhelmed by this deep love that I have for her. The only way that I can think to describe it is that I used to sometimes worry about something happening to me and me dying as a result of whatever happened. Like a car crash, or a person breaking into our house, or being out and being abducted. I mean these thoughts did not consume my mind or anything but every now and then I would get scared and worry about that stuff. I don’t anymore.
Now I worry about making sure that, if it is in my power, I can protect Kylie Jo. Sometimes I wake up late at night and I go sleep in the guest room just because I want to be closer to her. I never used to sleep with a bat under the bed but now I do because I would use it in a heart beat if I had to. The other night the power went out in our house, and there was not a storm. My first thought was someone has cut our power and they are coming into our house. We are defenseless in the dark. I got a flash light and a bat and headed straight to Kylie’s hall until we had some candles glowing. Now, most of you are thinking, Jennifer has lost it, she is a crazy lady with a bat, don’t go over to her house anymore…haha. I think parenthood makes you crazy though. You love your child so much that you would do anything to protect them. And you hope you make it because you don’t want them growing up without you but you are more concerned with their safety.
I can see how this is going to be hard down the road of life. I know there will come a day when I am not only going to want to protect her from unthinkable situations, but I will want to protect her childlike innocence and her heart from being hurt. I can still remember when I broke up with my first high school boyfriend and I felt so bad about it. I was sitting in my room sobbing. My mom came and sat beside me and I said, “This hurts so much. My heart literally hurts.” I was a bit dramatic back in the old days. My mom just hugged me and said something like, “I know, I wish that I could take your hurt away and carry that pain for you, but I can’t. I wish that I could though.”
I didn’t understand that then, but I do know. It will kill me to see Kylie Jo hurt either physically or emotionally. Her hurts will be my hurts. I will want to fix it all but I won’t be able to, and it won’t be good for her if I try to. I don’t look forward to that part of parenthood, but the rest of it, you could pay me nothing at all to give it up. This family that Jake and I are making is worth more to me then all the things and money in the world, and I love that I can feel that in the deepest parts of my soul.