When I was pregnant with Harrison, I used to play him a song. I think this is common practice for lots of moms. I didn’t do it because playing music is supposed to make your babies geniuses. For that, I figure we’d just hold our breath and hope for the best. That song, Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love”, has one line in it that I had to listen to over and over.
Somehow, this song came up in conversation with Harrison a few days ago, and now he asks me to play him “his song” over and over. He even asks me to sing it. I.Cannot.Sing. But he loves it. I will continue this practice until he just cannot even take the sound of my tone-deaf voice anymore. And then I’ll pray that he will dance with me to that song on his wedding day.
I know you haven’t made your mind up yet, but I would never do you wrong.
Because I’m a chronic worrier, I was scared to death for the entirety of my pregnancy that something would go wrong and I would not have my little guy to hold and love come July. (Never mind the fact that, during delivery, three weeks ahead of time, when I was quite literally bleeding to death due to a placental abruption, I was not concerned one bit…but I digress…) That line hit me because I didn’t know if he had made his mind up to join me on the outside. I knew, though, that I’d be here if he did, and I would be the luckiest woman in the world to have him in my arms. Like the song says:
I could hold you for a million years.
The thing is, I don’t ever stop worrying, save for that one time when I should have been slightly concerned about whether I’d survive childbirth. People I love and care about have lost children in the short time that I’ve been a parent. I have to say it doesn’t hit you when you’re childless the way it does when you have little ones of your own. I have seen moms grieve for their babies, and it’s a vision and feeling I cannot shake. Even when this loss happens on the television, the thought of those moms and dads losing their children stays with me for weeks. I once had to Google the outcome of Sons of Anarchy to find out if Jax Teller’s child was going to return home after his kidnapping (He did, and if that was a spoiler for you, you are way behind.)
I worry about car seats, and grapes that aren’t cut small enough, and poisoning and drowning and disease. But then they’re going to grow up, and it’s not choking on food, or walking out in the middle of a busy street anymore. It’s college and partying, and broken hearts, and failure. Just the other day, there was a news story about drug abuse that featured parents who lost children to heroin. Justin looked at me and said, “That is one thing I worry about in our town. There is quite a bit of drug use here among teens.” Excellent, dear. I wasn’t worried enough already. And all along, I know there are thousands of other dangers that I haven’t even thought of yet. And what about me! Every SINGLE time I get in my car without the kids, I wonder if I’ll make it back safe. Every health ailment is a warning that my time with my babies is limited and precious.
I shared these worries with one of my less anxious friends one time. She said, “Katie, you can worry all you want. You can come up with millions of scenarios. But it’s just wasting the time you DO have to love your child.” She was right. Do I still worry? Of course. I have a list of things to worry about just so I don’t run out. But when all is said and done, I will know that Harrison knew these were the words I wanted him to remember:
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
There’s no doubt in my mind where you belong
I’d go hungry I’d go black and blue
No, there’s nothing in the world I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love
Because all we can do is be the best parents we know how to be in each moment that we are lucky enough to have our children in our arms.