Thursday, March 18, 2010

Open door

About 3pm, I wasn't loving motherhood very much. That happens regularly at 3pm. It's been a long day at that point, many days, but there's still a long way to go. And people are hungry for about the 10th time that day, and either overstimulated from a fun day or lethargic from a boring day. And I need caffeine. I also start feeling like I need to get more grading done or it will be a long night.

Thankfully, Dinosaur Train comes on about 2:30, so when I remember to turn it on, it can offer some important distraction. Simone is impossible to distract, however, unless she agrees to a recreational bath. Sometimes I'll entice her with some new fancy toy (like kitchen tongs) and move to another room.

So about 3pm, I needed a break today. Not because it had been a particularly trying day, as mothering days go. We've had worse. But, Simone is rather bent out of shape most of the time right now, as she's working on her 4th molar of the last 2 weeks. One of my most difficult lessons of mothering is when someone is miserable and I can't fix it. Very, very difficult for me. Perhaps mostly so when the misery accompanies lots and lots of crying. So I want to hug them and take away the pain...but also want them to go far, far away so I can't hear the scream-cry.

That's actually the issue. The scream-cry. The Real Cry can melt my heart no matter what. The pissed-off hurt cry of a teething toddler can zap my mothering spirit quicker than anything else.

Please.stop.crying.

So I attempted my Cave Time around 3pm. Andrew just woke up from his nap and was wandering around the house, Jack was upstairs drawing something, and I'd left Simone upstairs as well. I was puttering in the kitchen, appreciating the silence, and then saw the foyer door was open.

This feeling overcame me, and I looked into the foyer and the front door was open. Open! We always keep it locked.

Logic didn't register that I'd just left her upstairs; all I could process was the door. Why was it open?

Faster than my legs have ever carried me, I ran outside...frantic as hell...screaming Simone's name at the top of my lungs. I didn't care and didn't notice if anyone saw the crazy lady screaming in her driveway. The school buses were moving slow motion down the street, coming to pick up junior highers across the street.

Nothing.

I came running back inside, insane with fear. Is this where life changes forever? Where is my baby? WHAT HAPPENED?

Running through the house, up the stairs, I'm screaming at the top of my lungs: "WHERE IS SIMONE? WHERE IS SHE? WHERE IS SHE?" I think the boys were too stunned to call back down, because after a very long pause, Jack said with fear in his voice: "She's right here. She's with me."

And I sat down at the top of the stairs and just wept. Head-in-my-hands crying. With relief, with the pent up fear that now had nowhere to go.

I felt little hands patting me on the back, and I turned around and there was Simone, cocked head and concerned eyes. She crawled in my lap and just sat there, not saying anything. And my little girl who hates being held for longer than 5 seconds let me hold her for the longest time, rocking her sweet little beanbag body and kissing her safe little head.

I have felt that feeling...that primal mothering panic...so few times in the last 5 years. And each of them, I will remember the rest of my life.

Love really IS the heightened state of all emotions, even the ones you hope never to feel.

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