There are going to be times when I just don’t live up to my aspirations in this whole parenthood thing, but today something happened that I really need to vent about. It’s probably going to sound silly, but I don’t care. I was outside, playing with Dagny while James tried to figure out why the power locks and windows weren’t working on the Maxima. We ran around, poked an ant pile, pretended Dagny was driving the car (to the post office if you must know,) and chased a wild rabbit across the neighbor’s yard.
Then I scooped her up and started twirling around. Her head was thrown back and I watched her hair fly as I swung her around and around. Oh how I love the sound of her laughs piercing the evening air. I looked over to the yard as I twirled us over into the grass. I didn’t notice her silence beneath my own “wheeeeee’s.”
Then I looked down and saw the most awful face of sheer terror that I have ever seen. Something had gone very wrong. My beautiful baby girl was turning deep red and her mouth was stiffened into a teeth-baring grimace. It was as if she had sucked in a breath and was holding it in with every cell in her body. Every tendon in her neck and outstretched arms was standing at attention beneath her delicate skin as she trembled like plucked rubberband. I felt like a hot air balloon whose air had been sucked out in an instant and was plummeting to earth. I swung her upright and crushed her to me saying, “It’s alright, I’m here I’m here.”
In those brief…ever so brief moments I almost felt as if I was losing contact with Earth. Everything around me went black and all I saw or felt or heard or smelled was her. I waited for the trembling to stop and prepared myself to look her in the face. All was well, and I released the breath I didn’t know I was holding. “What happened,” I asked, “Did you get dizzy?” “Aw-aw,” she offered up her lazy version of affirmation. And then, just like that she was wriggling out of my arms and running around laughing right before my eyes. I, on the other had, was not so easily repaired. I fought back tears as I tried to process everything that had just happened. Those awful seconds were my fault. I had done that to her. I didn’t mean to, but I looked away for those moments and when I looked back…well, what I saw is not something I will soon forget.