The fabric of parenting is a dichotomy of constant love and constant fear, woven together like an intricate lace that envelopes your heart, filling up your chest. I expected the love. I knew there would be fear. I expected to be scared the first time the baby had a fever or fell down, face first on the tile, while learning to walk. I did not anticipate just how closely love and fear are intertwined, and how the combination can steal your breath.
It is a random Monday morning. I am standing on the porch, blowing kisses as my husband backs out of the driveway to take the kids to daycare. Little hands in the backseat. The baby boy hand erratically waving to me. The preschooler hand catching my kisses and putting them on her heart. It fills me up with so much love that my throat tightens. I think, "My whole life is in that car," and the love/fear cocktail runs through me like a cold chill. What if they get in an accident? What if I never see them again? This jolt of the love/fear happens in a nanosecond, washes through my veins. So I stay on the porch. I continue to blow kisses until they drive up the street. I turn around, I shake it off, I grab a kiss from the air and put it on my heart.
I breathe again.