"When you're pregnant, you can think of nothing
but having your own body to yourself again;
yet after giving birth you realize that
the biggest part of you is now somehow external,
subject to all sorts of dangers and disappearance,
so you spend the rest of your life trying to figure out
how to keep her close enough for comfort.
That's the strange thing about being a mother:
Until you have a baby, you don't even realize
how much you were missing one."
— Jodi Picoult
Amelia's sick. It's the first time she's been sick, and it caught me off guard- she went down for a nap, and woke up sounding raspy and acting even more clingy than usual. I felt my heart break the second she made a noise. She doesn't seem to notice she's sick, thank goodness, and has been very content and snuggly.
It makes me feel even more protective of her than usual, and it got me thinking tonight. I am in total awe that it is possible to love this much- to love any human being on earth the way I love her. It's unlike anything I've ever known. It doesn't make sense to admire, adore, or otherwise cherish someone so deeply, but there it is- from the second I found out I was pregnant, this feeling- this compulsion, even- has gotten stronger and stronger.
It's the most painful kind of love I've ever felt- because I know that things will happen that should not happen. She will get sick again, she will fall down and scrape her elbows, and she will bump her head on her dresser. She made need braces and glasses (she is my kid after all), and a guy might someday break her heart. She will be given an unfair grade in class, and she won't be invited to a birthday party. She will forget her lines in a play, get a ticket when the meter runs out, and cry for reasons she won't even be able to explain to me. I hate, beyond anything, the fact that life will be to her what it is to everyone at times- unfair. I want so much to shield her from unfairness, from cruelty, from anything that would make her the least bit sad or worried or afraid. I want to say to the world, "Don't you see how beautiful she is? How sweet she is? Don't you see how precious this girl is to me?"
I suppose all I can do is be a small refuge to her. So when there is someone that doesn't recognize how valuable and lovely her soul is, she will always know that I see it. And she'll say I'm biased, and she will laugh it off at times.
But she'll know. Because I'll always, always know who she really is.