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the fear 16 December, 2005

Posted by silentpyjamas in blather and claptrap.
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today my 3-year old niece Alex put the fear in me.  *the fear*

what’s the fear?  i’m gonna tell you. 

this morning i awoke to her small self climbing into bed with me.  after a while i noticed that instead of burning up i was slightly chilly.  this is kind of a big deal because alex’s metabolism kicks into high gear when she’s sleeping.  she’s the hottest kid in town.  sleep next to her (or simply have her sleeping next to you) and you’re gonna have a grip of btu’s aimed mercilessly at you until you either pass out from the heat or have to get away from her.  so, i woke up and it was cold.

checked the heat, thermostat’s on 80, temperature is less than 70 (fahrenheit, darlings).  the heater was blowing out cold air.  i told my stepdad and he left work to come get us.  i didn’t ask him to, but he didn’t want his child and grandchild freezing in what he calls our “tundra.”  while we waited for him to come from work, alex and i walked to the mailbox, then to the little pond in front of our apartment complex (man-made pond of course) and she threw in pennies and made wishes.  finally we went to the front gates and waited outside for her Papa.  the truck rolled up a short time later and all hell broke loose.  my stepdad was across the street, about to turn into the entrance to our complex.  alex is a fast runner.

oh god she’s such a beautiful girl and she’s so smart and strong and for crying out loud, really, really fast.  i couldn’t even believe she was running for the truck.  i took off after her, hoping that a) no cars came from the left, b) no cars came from the exit of our complex, and c) my stepdad could see her before he turned into our complex.  i caught her, in her new satin coat, by grabbing her hood.  she stopped short and ended up on her butt *almost* on Bermuda Rd.  which has become a busy street of late.

the fear.  i never felt it so acutely.  well, a few months ago when she drank half a bottle of cough syrup.  that one caught me by surprise, i hadn’t even OPENED it yet.  how she defeated the child safety cap i will never know.

kids are amazing, but they can put fear into you the likes of which you have never felt.  there is nothing, nothing like being afraid that you have failed to protect your little one.  i didn’t want my stepdad to see me cry so i didn’t cry in the truck, but i feel like crying now.  the scary part is you don’t even have to be irresponsible.  the truth is that you cannot truly protect anyone from everything.  but ya can damn sure try.

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