Friday, August 26, 2005

I woke up this morning to NPR. I do every morning. I ease into the day with Public Radio, readying myself to get up and start the day.

But this morning was a little different. I fully came to consciousness as this story began. It was the StoryCorp piece on 8th graders in Philadelphia who were interviewing the families of teenagers who had been killed the previous year. You can see it here:

My daughter, who crawls into bed with me at 5 am every morning, was sound asleep next to me.

As I listened to this story – hearing adults remember their lost children, I looked at the seven year old asleep beside me. Her breathing slow and easy, features relaxed and perfect in sleep.

Being a mother hit me like a bolt from the sky. If I lost her, I would cease to exist. How these mothers, fathers and grandparents could talk about their loss was incomprehensible to me. I could stand the loss of my husband. I would be sad, I would grieve, but I could live.

But my daughter? My baby?

That is parenting. I truly would physically sacrifice myself for her- Just as the Mama cheetahs draw the lions away from their babies in the grasslands.And that is the scary, unprepare-able part of being a parent. No one tells you that the love that you will develop for that squalling infant will consume you – the non-parent, hip, cool, bon-vivant you. When the ash blows away, you will stand, a mother. And as a mother, you watch other mothers, like Cindy Sheehan, or these parents in this story grieve for Their babies. And you understand, completely.

0 Baleful Regards:

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