Sunday, January 01, 2006


Sometimes it scares her. Well, actually, it always scares her. This new emotion that she felt. This new 'love'. To love a child is a feeling you can't explain. She thought she loved her niece as much as she could her own. And she does love her as intensely as she thought love could go. But having your own is different, and she knows that now.

Kate had a pretty normal childhood until she was about 10. Her family moved half a country away then and all hell broke loose. Her dad couldn't find work. Her mom got sick. Her mom survived but became so depressed she was hardly a mom. Kate's dad, finally finding a good job, worked 12 hour days often 7 days a week for the overtime. He also had to deal with Kate's mom, what time did he have to deal with Kate?

So, her defense came in the form of self-reliance. Not a bad thing, really. She kept her nose in the books, made good grades, kept herself out of trouble, made sure she was the best at everything she could be. If only all parents experienced kids with this sort of rebellion. But Kate knew she was it. If she relied on anyone else for anything she would only be disappointed. So, she must make something of herself for survival.

She hated asking her parents for money. More like afraid to ask. Not that her parents would scold her for it, but the mere look on their faces, she knew they didn't have much to give. She got a job at 15 and saved her money hoping to buy a car, to save for just in case. You never know when you'll need it. When she needed to go to the dentist at 16 she used this money to pay for it. When she saved up enough she bought that car, and had a little in savings.

In high school she had a boyfriend. Like most high school romances, it came to an end. After school she came home and cried. Her mother came in her room and said "I don't want you to come home crying tomorrow" in a mocking voice. Kate realized she had let her feelings out. Oops. A mistake. She'll never let it happen again.

When Kate got older she went to college, married sensibly, graduated college, and got a job. She climbed the corporate ladder like everyone assumed she would. She married, but didn't rely on even her husband. For anything. No, you can only rely on yourself if you want to survive.

Kate and her husband decided to have a baby. Kate longed for one of her own, and that's what she was supposed to do, right? To please her parents and everyone else? She got pregnant and everyone was glad.

Kate struggled because she felt as though she should quit her job for the sake of the baby. After all, lets be realistic. You can't work 70 hours a week and have a baby. At least not teach it and raise it to be self-reliant. This, after all, is what it will need to survive.

This dillemma was such a struggle for her. How was she supposed to be self-reliant for herself now? Panic set in. She realized her husband was perfectly capable of being the breadwinner, but 'what if'?? You just never know. After all, her parents were supposed to fill her basic needs, to be her emotional support, and look what happened?

Kate quit her job when the baby was born. And then it happened. The love. The emotion she was feeling. That scary love that she is afraid to unleash because in the past it has only come to haunt her later. It amazes her how she let this little thing that can't even speak, can't even feed itself, take all her own self reliance. And not only that, but she actually let the little thing make her feel again. Like she hasn't felt since she was a child. And this child's love made her look at her husband in a new light, admire him, see parts of him that she wouldn't let herself see before. He was charming, handsome, strong. She let herself love him, too. Really love him for what seemed like the first time.

Kate still finds herself scared, waiting for this love to hurt her. Most of the time she can't enjoy it because of the fear. But every once in a while she catches a glimpse of relaxing, of enjoying the love, and she realizes she has grown a little.

We think we are put on earth to teach our children, but I think God had bigger plans.

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