I love you, already, but I’m afraid of you. As in, terrified.
It’s not that I worry about being a good parent to you. I know I’ll be a good mother. What worries me is the immensity of what I’ll feel for you. It will consume me, overwhelm me, swallow me whole. It’s threatening, the power you’ll have over me. The meaning you’ll have to me. How will I stand it?
The existence of you means that something–the loss of you–could destroy me. Obliterate me. There has never been something in my life with that capacity. I have always prided myself on strength, but you could bring me to my knees. And I’m not sure I’d ever be able to stand up again.
I will want to protect you with a fierceness that will shock me. Every possible catastrophe will go through my head in the moments you’re away from me–from the time you take your first steps and wander into the other room, to the day you go off to college with only your own thoughts and plans to keep you warm at night. It’s crippling, really, the worry. The love. It must be a thousand times what I feel for my dog, for my cats, and I come to tears leaving them alone for a long weekend.
How will I function with what I’ll feel for you? How will I be anything when you are everything? I don’t worry about losing sleep due to those predictable fits in the first months of life. I worry about all the other nights, when you are resting soundly but I am up wondering what will become of you, if the world will be kind to you, if your heart will withstand inevitable heartbreaks.
If I give you life, know that it’s the most courageous choice I will ever make. If I don’t give you life, know that part of me will always wonder who you could have been and, also, who I would have been.
Your tentative mother
Kim Hooper | Copywriter & Novelist | Also, my sister