At my 7th birthday party my dad let me watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a mistake he wouldn't soon live down due to my developed fear of vampires. For years I slept with my closet open to enable me to see any creatures of the night that may emerge from it. I slept on my back with the sheets pulled up over my neck, one eye open to ensure my safety from the fanged creatures. When I was 11, another error, my mom allowed me to watch I Know What You Did Last Summer, more sleepless nights waiting for a man with rubber boots and a hook for a hand to take my life. Beside these, I generated many reasons to worry throughout my adolescence including flying, dying, and an irrational fear of Australia. But no fright, no unease, no terror compares to the neurosis that has been instilled in me since the commencement of my journey of motherhood.
Today, July 27th, 2010, is my 2 year anniversary with Keikai. I received no call, email, chocolates, flowers, or singing telegrams, but I know he is thinking of me, wherever he is. I am thinking on the events of the past two years, where I was, and how I never in a million years could have imagined where I am at this moment. Now that I'm here, I couldn't begin to fathom my life without my precious baby girl. That's where the neurosis comes in. I have, in my mind, concocted every possible tragic scenario and I trust no one, least of all myself. I wake up panicked several times a night to make sure the munchkin is breathing. I have become a clean freak, obsessed with setting a good example for my little one, and I have chastised every member of my family...10 times.
Yesterday, my mom's 51st birthday (and my dad's 53rd) all that could go wrong went wrong, as it typically does in our family. One of the many mishaps was the fact that Tyler and Nana went into town for paint and didn't return for 5 hours. This sent my mom in to a fit of hysterics until the two of them nonchalantly walked through the back door holding several bags and a bouquet of lillies. My brother immediately isolated himself to the laundry room where he, the boy who has the attention span of a gnat, spent 4 hours fashioning a jewelry box for my mom. We all anxiously waited for him to unveil the fabulous creation that took him 240 minutes to build and at 9 o'clock pm, he let us have it. This darling boy had drilled and hammered and sawed a priceless piece with mismatched hinges, plywood, and an ornate handle. The top of the box sits a half an inch off of the the rectangular fixture providing a gap that my mom declared perfect for her jewelry to breathe through.
Between our laughter, sentimental tears, and words of praise I saw a glimmer of light in everyone's eyes and I started to see that this is what it's all about. If you do things with love, if you put your whole self into something, the missteps and accidental blunders don't matter. Instead of contemplating all of the ways that harm can come to Tallulah and spending my life being her protective bubble, I can choose to emanate love from every pore, raising her the best way I know how and learning as I go. In the presence of fear, everything else, love in particular, is diminished, but in the presence of true, unabashed love you can't help but generate a sense of trust that everything, no matter how off-center, is exactly as it is meant to be.