The other night after Alana was asleep I sat in her room for awhile (because of course she had fallen asleep in my room). I looked around at what six years with this little girl has turned into. It may be a "shared" room with Ava, Witten even has a tiny blue shelf in there too, but it has been Alana's territory for much longer. If I had no more Alana, which I don't even like to consider, I could never go in that room again. Every little thing in there has been touched by her little hands and fingers with their chipped pink nail polish. There are leaves she collected from my sister's front yard, a macaroni necklace she made at school, snowglobes that she picked out at Disneyland and MouseEar hats with her name embroidered on them. That room is full of her.
Last Friday this happened and it freaked me out a little. Every day of this week when I dropped my first baby off at school I was sad. I hugged her tighter. School should be a safe place, I want her to feel like nothing bad will happen to her there. I want to feel like nothing bad will happen to her there. But the reality of the world that we live in is harsh. Bad things happen. They happen to good people, young people, old people, babies, little innocent kids. They happen to everybody. I wake up everyday with the notion that none of those things will happen to me or my family, but that is just a lie we all tell ourselves so that we can leave our houses without being afraid of everything.
I know people have "recovered" from losing children. Little children, babies, or grown children. But I don't know how. How can you even tie your shoes and sit on your couch and function when there is such a big piece of you missing. I love all three of my kids, but the absense of even one of them would leave me unable to breathe.
We all take our kids for granted. On Friday after I picked Alana up and hugged her and squeezed her I brought her home. She acted like her usual wild self and drove me a little bit crazy, fighting with Ava and eating nonstop before dinner. I wanted to tell her to calm herself down, but I was grateful just to have her to be there annoying me when so many other parents had their wild six year olds taken from them that day.
I'm glad that its almost Christmas break because I need some time. Time to not be so petrified to take my child to school everyday, leaving her there and trusting that she will be okay. There were even rumors going around that some idiot high school kids were going to bring guns to school tomorrow. These rumors were not taken lightly and there have been lots of cops at the school all this week. The secretary even reassured me that if she really thought there was a threat she wouldn't be there. I guess that helps a little, but I'm trusting these people with a priceless possession. Sending my baby to school everyday was hard enough before, I already missed her every minute that she was gone. Sending her to school with even the faintest thought that I could never hold her, see her, or hug her again makes me want to throw up.
I don't want to let my fear of the bad guys of the world affect how Alana lives her life. I want to hug her and raise her to be an independent person, but why does independence involve so much leaving me? Can't she be an independent and a successful doctor/teacher/singer/whatever and still live at home with me till she is 40? Or 50? Why do children insist on growing up and moving out? Who thought of this idea? I would like to have a word with them.
More than anything I just want to remember to appreciate my kids. I need to remember how tightly Alana hugs my neck, how she sings as loudly as possible whenever there is a good song on, how she is friends with everyone and never holds a grudge, how she draws me masterpieces everyday that I will never throw away, how she insists she is starving after school and snacks till she is full so she doesn't want dinner, and how I would do anything to keep her safe and here with me.
I'm trusting the world with my baby, I hope it doesn't let me down. But I've got my eye on you world, don't try any funny business or you'll have to answer to me.