When you have a child you’re agreeing to a whole bunch of stuff you didn’t really think was in the contract. There is teeny tiny print, and nobody tells you to read it carefully, NOOOOOOOO, you just decide you want to have a cute, pinchable, all out adorable little human, and you put your reading glasses, and all common sense on a high, baby-proofed shelf. And then you go in for the emotional deep dive of your life.
I knew there would be poop. How many diapers have I changed? Once Jake was so sick, he pooped without his pants on, while he was standing up, and I caught it in mid-air (yup, that happened), once Ally pooped all the way up her back (her ENTIRE back) while she was in a stroller at the Aquarium while her cousins were visiting from Virginia. Jake cried for like six hours every time he got vaccinations, every time. Ally cried for the first six months of her life. Leaving Jake at his first day of pre-school was like having an arm amputated. Seeing Ally sing Louie Armstrong’s Wonderful World made me sob inside and out. For like three days. There are 1,230,483,476,987,098,4478 more moments like this.
But nothing, not anything, not one thing that exists, is as awful or can compare to the misery of seeing your kid feel pain. Whether it’s physical pain, or emotional pain, all of it makes me want to hide in a cave and cry about everything bad that’s ever happened to me. I can’t stand it. I want some of that Michael Jackson sleeping drug–Propofol. I want to go into the witness protection program and assume another life in a small town in Iowa. I DON’T WANT TO SEE IT, OR FEEL IT.
But of course, none of the above is possible, nor would I ever want to leave my child in pain, but I thought I should just be honest and tell you that the whole thing makes me want to run for the hills, where Bin Laden so successfully hid for so long.
But I don’t.
And I never would. Because I love my kids with a ferocity that is bottom of the ocean deep, and solar system wide and bigger than everything that exists. I will always just be by their sides, physically, or mentally until they bury me in a coffin in the highest heeled, most beautiful shoes ever made. I will feel their pain, their confusion, their life lessons alongside them, sometimes being able to help with words, or just a hug, and sometimes not being able to help at all. But I will be with them. They will not be alone, not ever, not alone with the crazy, nuts, insanity of life, because whether I’m on the phone, on the other side of a text, skype session, email, Facebook message, or other social media forms of communication, I WILL ALWAYS BE THERE. That’s my promise. And isn’t that all we can do for another human being, is to promise to be there for the unpredictablity, beauty and shit farm, that is life? Not something I knew before I worked three years to get pregnant, but there it is. I will be there for the pain, kids (and of course, all the good stuff) ALWAYS.