Brianna is starting to tell me about her dreams. But only when they are bad. One night recently, she came into my bedroom and told me she’d had a nightmare. I almost made her go back to bed because Jaxon’s crib is in my room right next to my bed. I didn’t want her to wake him. The good Lord knows I need my rest and if the baby won’t sleep then I can’t either. However, I let her crawl underneath my sheets between me and her Daddy. She went right to sleep and the baby didn’t budge.
The next day I asked her why she came into my bedroom the night before.
“I had a bad dream Mommy”, she said.
“I know, honey, you told me. What was it about?”
“Jeremy got ranned over by a car and he was flat”, she replied.
I remained outwardly cool, but on the inside I was shaken. I fear for my kid’s safety a lot. I worry about the shallow canal that borders our property ever since I caught Jeremy climbing our fence. I worry about him drowning and I worry about alligators since one was just spotted not 100 yards from my back yard about 3 months ago. I worry about snakes from the empty, overgrown lot next door. I worry about broken necks on the trampoline. I worry about the jackass down the street with all of the bigoted bumper stickers on his red Dodge Neon who drives too fast down our street hitting one of my kids. I worry a lot.
Parenting changes a person. One day you’re just casually picking out birth announcements and the next day you’re searching your local police department’s database for sex offenders in your neighborhood. You go from carefree to careful in a matter of minutes if you’re having a c-section or a matter of hours if you’re pushing that baby out. Paranoid.
She hit my panic button. I prayed that the Lord would spare me the loss of another child. I prayed that my kids will all grow up healthy and strong and live long happy lives. I prayed that I would live a long happy life too because I don’t want my kids all screwed up from losing a parent too early in their lives.
But it happens all the time.
A parent loses a child.
A child loses a parent.
Have you ever worried over something that seems so innocently ridiculous, but it has seeped into your bones and you just can’t shake it? I am a freak in a parking lot with Jeremy now. I hold on to him so tightly that it makes him mad. I hollar at him to stay right by my side. I cannot lose him. I cannot lose any of them. I would forfeit my breath… I would live no more despite my own heartbeat. Panic.
Then there is my newborn son and SIDS to worry about.
A mom never truly rests.