Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Heart Outside of my Body

they growup too fast. parenting
Making the decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
~Elizabeth Stone

The other evening John and I were driving along quite late at night; he was nearly asleep leaning on the door. I asked him to check the lock on the door to make sure that the door wouldn't open suddenly. Instead of checking the lock, John opened the door of the car as I drove!

He was fine; he knew what he was doing; he had set out to scare me. It took me about twenty minutes to get my heart back to normal, John laughing at me the whole time.

It is an unexpected thing, really, to discover the immeasurable depth of love one has for their child. Becoming a parent is, in fact, a journey, a journey of unknown dimension.  Depth and breadth. 

In the beginning is that boundless fear of an unknown future looming over an uncommunicative infant. An infant who does not respond in any meaningful way for months on end, an infant who is take take take. 
A parent who feels abandoned of sense and reason. Then the moment, a sudden moment, an infant who laughs at some obvious stimuli. Everything changes that moment.

Life speeds up. Most steps are away. Life feels like spinning.
The heart of a parent speaks these words.

Can I read this poem to you. Let me cut your wisps of hair, worshipping the curls. Is there more to say? I will cut your dinner and clip your nails. I will hold you tight when it rains. Let me speak to you in the voice of your stuffed pink baby and we can discuss life and light. I will lay my cheek on yours and feel again the to and fro of the swing set. Gaze into my eyes with your secret smile. Sing with me in the words of childhood verse. Curl up in front of me and lay your head on my arm; I will comfort you and give you shelter. Be as free as a drop of water Let me say things that open your heart to something anew. Return again to the day when you jumped without looking. Grasp my hand and we will walk over the hill. I will lend you my courage.

I will leave the light on. Let us lay beneath the blue, blue summer sky and read poetry and prose together. Tell me all of your secrets. Put your head beneath my arm to hide from the fireworks. Believe again in the power of your dreams. Tangle your legs with mine as we read beneath the comfy coverlet. Believe again that I am omniscient. Can we catch fireflies and release them into the cool of the night? I will comfort you in the depth of your joy and your sadness. Can we talk long into the night and I will go into my room, close the door, and sob at the preposterous beauty of the past hour to your daddy? 

You grow up. You drop my hand.
I find it hard, the letting go.

You may also enjoy these posts:
Shooshy: Raising My Daughter
I'm the Good Enough Parent
Do You Know Who I am?
Moving Into the Light 
One of my Worst Days as a Parent


  1. It's so true, the moments that reveal the depth of your love for your children or anyone come very suddenly. It's in those moments where we know what love is and just how precious life is.

  2. Your words so beautifully articulate a parent's love for their child. This moved me to tears. I can imagine that it feels like yesterday that your beautiful children were little. I know that it will feel like a blink and *poof* my children will be nearing adulthood. This journey we take with our kids is so precious, so fleeting, so worth every second of everything.


Leave a comment!