Plain and simple my worst fears are:
Water and Not Breathing.
Mostly having to do with my kids. I cannot control these two factors and I panic like it’s worth 1,000,000 dollars to see how fast I can go from fine to freaking out.
Today one of them unfolded in a bank lobby.
My son choked on a mint and everything I did (aside from panicking) was not clearing his airway. Sticking my finger down his throat trying to fish it out, willing him to breathe or cough it up. Willing his little body to work this one out, please, oh my god, please work this one out.
He threw up – but no mint came with it. More coughing, more not breathing. I’m sure it all lasted less than 25 seconds but it felt like hours of waiting for him to breathe again.
An employee at the bank was alerted to the situation, came over … calmly, bless her heart, picked up my son and got him perpendicular to the floor, horizontally. Then waited. Then pat his back and waited some more.
He threw up again and the mint came out FINALLY, broke in half in a puddle of stomach acid and he took a breath. And started crying.
I can promise you that hearing that cry was way more life giving than waiting for his first breath, ever.
I was in worse shape than he was after we got him calmed down. He wanted a sucker instead, please. I was trying to hold my shit together so I could make it to the car and freak out without an audience. I was crying, too.
This is how my day started:
Fresh off the heels of this and we’re smack dab in the middle of another bout of Pink Eye, major green nose gunk and eczema for the little guy.
I am not feeling great about my ability to keep my kids safe and healthy.
I do EV-ER-Y-THING for my kids but that does not guarantee that they will always be safe or have a certain amount of time here (read: more than me). I am chronically afraid of them dying. Oh hey! Let’s talk about this!
Don’t you worry though, that hasn’t stopped me from trying to trump this system. From trying to work out a way for me to know that I can change these facts. That I can have a guarantee.
I wrote most of these bargaining chips into my Life List Version 1 (which is now published as Life List Version 2). If you hadn’t read my life list before now, this might not make much sense because I didn’t save the first copy of it.
I wrote a lot of things in there like “watch Jessica walk down her wedding aisle” – things that I thought if I wrote down would actually happen. I will always trade my happiness and comfort for the betterment of my kids, for their possibilities and I was trying to trade in my own goals and “3 wishes” for their lives as well.
If I only dream *this* big then of course they’ll live long enough to be married. If I don’t allow myself to think past *this* obstacle, they’ll be healthy and cancer free as children. If I publically admit that I’m willing to only really believe in my own dreams 75% then, well, yes – then that’s enough and my kids will be here long after I am.
Please tell me I’m not the only person who’s this version of neurotic?
With all things lately, I’m just being reminded that I don’t get to decide these things. That I should do all that I can to ensure safety, yet livable existence, and that I should absolutely dream my biggest dream and believe in myself.
However in the mean time we’ll be staying far, far away from things smaller than a quarter and absolutely no deep sea diving or swimming with sharks.