Thursday, October 23, 2008

The hardest part

When I was pregnant with Kevin, my first baby, 12 years ago, I spent a great deal of time looking forward to his birth, believing that when I could hold him in my arms and see with my own eyes that he was healthy, then I could heave a sigh of relief and stop worrying about his well-being. Little did I know that when a baby leaves the safety of his mother's womb, that's when the real worrying starts.

I remember very clearly many nights when I would sit in the dark of Kevin's nursery, cradling him in the rocking chair, and literally crying my eyes out over all the horrible things that could befall him: leukemia . . . abduction . . . car accident . . . I seriously almost drove myself over the edge with this stuff sometimes. I never realized before he was born how much I would miss being pregnant with him . . . not only because I just really love being pregnant, but because that's the only time a mother is one with her child, where she has him to herself, protected, safe, cocooned from the dangers of the life. I missed that so much, even though when I had it (while I was pregnant), I didn't realize it. After Kevin was born, suddenly the world seemed like such a dangerous, risky place.

What I've learned over the years, though, and over the course of parenting now 6 children is that parenting is hard. It hurts. It hurts to love someone so much, to have your heart all wrapped up in these little humans running around. It's hard dealing with the whining and the bickering and the attitudes and the misbehavior. It's hard trying to raise them to be decent, caring people. It's hard to let them spread their wings, and sometimes fall flat on their faces - and sometimes not! It's hard worrying about all the terrible things that could happen to them.

But the hardest part is realizing that there are things in life that you just can't protect them from. Like prejudice. Like unkindness. Like ignorance. Like intolerance. Like selfishness.

I've spent the better part of the day so far crying because I just don't understand people's refusal to be kind, and because I know that I can't truly protect my children from it. I want to believe in people's overall goodness. I want to believe that generally, the world is a safe, good place. But today I'm filled with so much doubt about that, and sorrow because of it.

This is the hardest part.


Tricia said...

You're right, Lisa. And I thank you--especially now when I am more or less taking my late pregnancy for granted--for reminding me.

Carla said...

As usual, beautifully written, Lisa. I wish all the tears we shed as parents over worry about and protection of our children somehow diminished the tears they might someday shed...especially at the cruel hand and words of others. The truth is, unfortunately, they will be hurt again and again. You are a wonderful advocate for Finn and all your children; even if you only open eye set of eyes at a time, you are making a difference.

T-rex said...

I just take heart in that while there are vile, cruel people out there, in this world exists just as many (if not more) kind and good people willing to fight for a better future for our children. I know what side I am on, and that is all I think we can do. Be what we want to see in others.

Laurie said...

Aw Lisa. I know. I totally know.
Thinking of you.

Tara Marie said...

Oh Lisa....sending you big cyber hugs.

I have been running lately and have not had time to really sit and read blogs [espeically yours, as I've been drawn to Finnian and his family]

Just as their is bigotry and racism, there is also a ignorance to disability. It is a sad thing, but on the flip side, there is also a huge part of the population that does get it and practices humanity day in and day out.

I pray you and Finn are surrounded by those who are sensitive, caring and compassionate. The others.....while it is hard, sometimes the best thing to do is remove yourself. You are an amazing Woman and Mother.....always remember that.

Our local Ds group has this motto....."Changing minds, one heart at a time."
I know you will change many minds as the years roll forward, as you speak from your heart.

Peace and love, TM

Cleo said...

Lisa, focus in all the good people in your life, focus in all the love, understanding and support you get from them. Trust that your children and you will always be surrounded by loving and kind people, like the ones you have in your life right now. All the best ~