Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Flip-flops. And I don't mean the shoes.

Every morning, Monday through Friday, my stomach does flip-flops.

Every morning, Monday through Friday, I give her a hug, a kiss, an "I love you, have a great day," and watch her walk away.

Every morning, Monday through Friday, my daughter gets on the school bus.

Every morning, Monday through Friday, I wave and smile.

And cringe.

And worry.

About this, and this, and this. And this.

She's out of my hands. She's starting out in the world. She's smiling and waving.

All I want to do is protect her, hold her close, let no harm ever come to her. Part of watching her grow is loosening the grip, a little. Letting her venture out, a little.

My mom is one of eight children. Three of her siblings have lost a child.

In 1989, one of my cousins was killed riding his motorcycle. He was headed home, less than a block away. My aunt and uncle were first on the scene.

I got a call at work in 1998 that one of my young cousins was killed in a "farm" accident. She was out playing and a piece of equipment fell on her.

In 1999, while on vacation, another of my cousins woke up, ate breakfast, told his mom he didn't feel well and went back to bed. An hour later she found him dead. It took months to determine that he'd had a seizure.

Three out of eight have buried a child.

The events of the past month, have me in knots. How can I protect my children? It's bad enough I barely turn on the news. Even the 5 pm news gives my children ample opportunity to ask questions. Mommy, what's a shooting? Mommy, what's a sex offender? Mommy, what's Congress? All I want is the weather.

Every afternoon, the big yellow bus pulls up and my stomach does flip-flops once again. This time, glad she's home.


Builder Mama said...

You know, G, after watching my sister bury her youngest son it took me a very long time not to obsess over everything that Monkey Man did or happened to him.

Somehow, you find that peace eventually. It's not easy, though, and I think that sick feeling never completely goes away.

Mitzi Green said...

i can sort of relate. my stomach flip-flops every morning because i'm scared to death my son is going to BECOME the shooter, the thief, the molester...

Tree said...

Mine flip flops a lot, particularly given N's escapist tendencies of the past few days.

This love is so much more than just us.