Thursday, 5 May 2011
Being a parent for me encapsulates some of the greatest joys and the greatest terrors of my life.
Somehow, I have been more neurotic about my kids than the rest of everything in my life put together, easily.
My first child was lucky to survive the pregnancy to term and then even luckier to survive being born. There was a problem with his placenta, and on his birthday it caused massive haemorrhaging for me and a traumatic few moments for both of us. When the midwife came to see us a few days later she burst into tears – obviously not an easy birth for her either!
I guess that is a picture for me of parenting – holding in my arms a little thing that I love beyond any reason, enveloped in surreal joy and bliss, woozy and covered in blood and not minding the sacrifice at all – just willing to do anything for the child, whatever the cost.
The other aspect of parenting, though, is the terror that this little thing depends on me. I was so afraid that my lads might die when they were tiny. If they overslept I would race into their room with my heart in my mouth and strain to see signs of them breathing. Unconvinced, I would give them a prod to make sure they were still with me.. normally stupidly waking them up at a stage when I was sleep deprived and could have done with the peace and quiet.
I look back now on the things that worried me when they were little and feel stupid - 'How could I have worried about that? Oh, I'm so much more wise and mature now'....
Now they are getting into their teens there are new issues that terrify me. In the last six months I’ve twice had my heart in my mouth, not knowing what to do. Terrified once again. Today is one of those days.
I guess in ten years time, I’ll think I am being stupid and neurotic today. I hope so!
Say something comforting… please!