I can clearly remember the first time that it really hit me that I am a parent. And I’m not talking about the moment I saw two red lines on the home pregnancy test, or the moment when the Dr confirmed my pregnancy or even the first time that I looked into my new daughter’s eyes 3 hours after the most pain I’ve experienced to date.
I’m talking about the moment when the reality hit me that I was no longer “Daddy’s Little Girl” or “Mummy’s Princess” but a grown up who now had to be the one who would be looked up to instead of the one doing the looking up.
And I’ve gotta tell you, it scared the absolute crap out of me.
As a child I remember running into my parent’s bed in the middle of thunderstorms and being comforted just by sensing them near me. And I recall many times when I got lost at the shops momentarily until my parents sought me out. I even remember my Dad sitting on the edge of my bed and praying that fear would leave me as I shook because I was so frightened of the dark. He turned the toilet light on that night and it stayed on for many years afterwards.
But when that day comes that you realise that YOU are now the go-to person when a child is seeking comfort, it can be both touching and overwhelming at the same time. My kids look to me with admiration and total trust and rely on me to be their safe place, I am the one that they run to when the sky is lit up with lightening and the house feels like it’s shaking from the thunder. My bed is where they end up snuggling into me, and I am the one who goes into bat for them every time that a situation starts to escalate and become beyond their control.
It’s a lot of pressure and at times can be frustrating, tiring and really damn annoying. But I have come to realise that I am extremely and totally blessed beyond belief.
I get to be a safe place.
And that’s a blessing that a lot of people will never know. So I’m definitely not complaining.
I have gone back and forth over whether or not to add my 2 cents worth to the shooting tragedy in Newtown Connecticut a couple of days ago and almost decided not to write anything in case it appeared that I am trying to score hits on my blog by doing so. And I don’t want to use something so horrific to attract traffic here; which is why I am not going to add any tags containing those words.
What I am about to write is for you guys; the faithful readers who already know me and know that it’s not my heart to benefit from things like this.
Two of my children are in the age group of the children who were massacred so it was really close to home for me. I have done a lot of thinking since the shootings occurred and my heart is aching for those families who have just experienced more tragedy than any other human being should have to bear: The loss of a child.
They will never get to be their child’s safe place ever again. They won’t feel the warmth of a small child snuggling into them seeking protection and they would give ANYTHING to be able to hold their baby in their arms one more time. And there are many other families who are also affected because their child was one of the “lucky” ones who got away. These babies have been exposed to things that no human being should ever have to witness in their lifetime.
I have written a lot about how hard I find parenting on this blog. I have written about the good times, the shocking times and almost everything in between. But from now on – even when I’m in the heart of one of the worst moments imaginable – I vow to remain acutely aware that I am blessed just because I get to be called “Mum”.
I’m not weighing in on arguments about gun laws, mental health issues or the concept of taking God out of schools in America (as has been in the media constantly over the past few days). There are many other bloggers far more qualified than me who are already writing about the bigger issues.
But as a Mummy blogger I am going to say that I am going to remember that no matter how frightening and overwhelming this whole “being a parent” thing can get – I will make the choice to be thankful.
- Thankful that I can hold my babies close.
- Thankful that I can be a safe place even at 3 o’clock in the morning,
- Thankful for life.
For me – I’ve come to realise how sad it is that it has taken something so tragic for me to recognise how blessed I am.
I will continue to pray for the families who have lost everything.
I really wish that I could do more.