Both ways…

Have the nursery ready.

Buy a carseat and install it in your car.

Make sure you have plenty of diapers on hand.

Wet wipes are God’s gift. You will use them for everything from wiping little butts to removing puke from your favorite dry clean only sweater.

People are more than willing to tell you how to better prepare yourself for one of the biggest decisions that you will ever embark upon in your entire life.

What nobody does actually tell you is that you will have to give your heart out on a permanent loan. It’s not a Fixed rate, 15 year plan.

It is without limits to time or circumstance.

To another human being.

Nobody tells you how vulnerable you will be, as a parent. How scared. Helpless.

These are unmistakable battle scars from taking on the biggest, most important job you will ever perform as a human.

I brushed her hair.

I gave her her allergy pill.

I kissed her smack on the lips.

“I love you.”

“Look both ways!!!”

When I watched her effortlessly float across that wet, busy street directly in from of the huge, extended cab “82 Chevie hopped up on steroids, he slammed on his breaks, tires screeching as she mindlessly continued on her journey to the bus stop.

This is the part where my heart sunk deep into my bowels.

This is the loan I was referring to.

Your child has it. They are free to do with it whatever they please.

Stuff it in their lunchbox and throw it in their backpack.

Thoughtlessly, play with it, like an old ragdoll.

This is what children do. It’s in their very nature.

We did it, too.

No wonder our mother snickered when she found out we were pregnant.

“Just wait.”

For what?

“Oh, you’ll see.”

Now, I know all too well what mine was talking about.

Thanks for the heads up!

Not!

There are two ways to parent.

Without worry and free from any emotion.

Carelessly, throwing caution to the wind.

Raise your child, all the while smugly convincing yourself that it will all work itself out.

Or, painstakingly work at it. Every day.

Give it your all. 100%.

Paying absolutely no heed to yourself and your own needs.

At any rate, you can accept the fact that you’re not getting back that heart.

You gave of it, freely.

You were happy to.

Even if you have to pick it up, continuously, from the floor, wipe it off, pick out all of the fuzz and hair and bandage it up.

You’re a mother.

It’s what you do.

But you have to look both ways.

You can’t spend all of your energy worrying, day in and day out.

But on the other hand, you can’t carelessly and ignorantly ride idle, giving absolutely no care to the life you have in your hands.

There is dangerous traffic in life.

And you have to look both ways.

If you don’t, your heart will never know what hit it.

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12 comments on this post.
  1. Jenn @ Juggling Life:

    Oh my, my stomach is in my throat and I wasn’t even there. How eloquently you tell the story, and the lesson.

  2. kalurah:

    Jenn,
    I know YOU have had your fair share.
    Does it EVER get any easier?
    OY!

  3. Minnesota Matron:

    Beautiful post, linking the physical and emotional vulnerabilities perfectly. Yes,yes. The maternal heart is one raw, open target.

    I once lost Stryker in the Vegas airport. I can still cry, remembering. He just trotted away while I screamed at him and he disappeared. Thank God for competent security system that found him within the WORST 15 minutes of my life.

  4. kalurah:

    That is so scary!
    My daughter ALSO ran off and disappeared while I was 5 months pregnant, helping decorate the reception hall for my cousin’s wedding.
    I had everyone searching, as I screamed out her name.
    An agonizing 5 minutes later, after checking the very busy street outside, we found her hiding in one of the bathroom stalls.
    Grrrrrrr. She, of course couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

  5. Iguana Banana:

    What a lovely way to tell such a traumatic story. It is the best and worst way to love someone, isn’t it? So freely and openly. I do breathe a big sigh of relief when I have all of the Littles safely in bed at the end of the day – they survived, maybe despite my best efforts. Then I remember all of the things that can happen at night, and I begin to hold my breath until the sun comes up. Just so I can begin the whole mother-thing again.
    Thank you for such a lovingly written post!

  6. kalurah:

    Ahna,
    I was standing on the front porch in my nightgown (braless), wearing my Ugg’s (Ugglies), so when it happened all I could do was jump up and down and scream at her.
    If I thought there was any way I could’ve gotten down the street to her in time, don’t think for a second I wouldn’t have flown down that sidewalk, (all my glory flopping around) just to save her.
    Luckily, that guy saw her soon enough to slam on his breaks.
    She is getting a serious sit-down when she gets home this afternoon!
    (heart 2 heart)

  7. Richelle:

    Oh my gosh! oh my gosh are you breathing yet? Are you okay? If kids only knew what they did to us.

  8. Kalurah's Mom:

    Oh, I’m so glad I wasn’t standing on that porch! I’m too young to die of a heart attack! I didn’t know she had to cross the street to catch the bus? Welcome to the wonderful world of repeating yourself 3 billion times a day…look both ways, look both ways, look both ways…argh!
    Hug her especially hard for Gramma and Papa and then whack her fanny and tell her we love her and oh yes, look both ways!!!!!!!!!!

  9. piscesgrrl:

    That’s heart-wrenching, and all I’m doing is reading about it! I’m so glad she’s ok. And you too!

    My son wandered off in the grocery store recently (and he’s 11!). Just when I was going to start screaming his name (I’d already ditched the cart and was jogging along the aisle ends for the 2nd time), he sauntered around the corner.

    He’d gone to the bathroom.

    BREATHE

  10. Heather:

    Scary. It’s my worst fear, that something should happen to one of my children. Wouldn’t it be just that much worse to have seen it happen? I’m glad that she is okay. May none of us see the worst ever happen.

    Yes, kids do own our hearts and are very careless with them. Isn’t it wonderful that they haven’t any big worries?

  11. EC:

    What an amazing, moving post! The image of picking our heart up off the floor, dusty and dirty, is SO powerful!

    I’m glad everyone is ok!!!

    evie

  12. Bari:

    Great post, Kalurah. Those little dears will bring us to our knees… and certainly our mother’s were right! Glad sweet Zoe is ok. I’m sure that sit down was quite a doozy.