Tuesday, May 08, 2007

“Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
- Elizabeth Stone

Yesterday someone I know got a phone call from a friend to pass along terrible news. The son of a mutual aquaintance was killed while serving in Iraq. My friend has a son the same age. He's a headstrong young man and a constant source of frustration for his parents. Stunned at the awful news, she went in to check on him. As is typical, he was still sleeping in his bed although it was late in the morning. Returning to the kitchen, all she could think to say (with a strange sense of relief instead of the usual irritation) was, "Ours is asleep in his bed."

It must be a constant conflict for the parents of a young adult. To want them to go into the world and become something, but to fear the danger that can come with that.

I can only imagine.


  1. It's a fear that begins the moment you find out that you are pregnant, and it stays with you always.

  2. The closest I have to come to being able to understand what it is to be a parent was when my sister and her two children moved in with me for 6 months or so many many years ago. Before then I thought I loved those children just as much as their mother did. But then I became the other parent. I dressed them in the morning and fed them at night. I rocked my three year old nephew to sleep at night and later when he awoke in the middle of the night he would come climb into my bed. In the morning I would wake with a tiny sweaty little one curled up against my stomach.

    And then I started having nightmares. I became terrified of anything happening to them. After one particularly bad nightmare, I woke up and had to go sit by my nephew's bed and just couldn't bear to leave his side all day. I needed that reassurance that he was alright. I became so protective and so constantly aware of both children.

    I then realized that what I was feeling must just be a tiny fraction of what his mother felt day in and day out. It really increased my awareness of that bond and just how tremendous a life change parenthood is.