Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It hurts

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
Elizabeth Stone

Pip and I were walking together in the forest when I noticed that her hand was covering her forehead.  "Are you hot Sweetie?"
"No, Mama.  I'm okay."
"Why do you have your hand on your forehead?"
"It's so that I won't get another bee-sting."

We were walking in the same area Pip had been stung last week.  Apparently, she thought that her forehead was the only sting-worthy site on her body.  I didn't want to alarm her, but I also didn't want her to have to cover her forehead every time she walked outside.  "Sweetie, bees can actually sting any part of your body."  Pip was silent for a moment.  The hand remained on her forehead.

"Mama, if you hold my hand, you can protect me from the bees."

I took her hand in mine.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that I couldn't protect her from future bee-stings.  Perhaps it was because I just wanted her to enjoy the walk, or perhaps it was because I truly do want to protect her.  From everything.  I know it's irrational, but I don't want her to hurt.  I don't want her to worry.  I want her little world to be beautiful.  And it is.  

It's a strange new feeling though, this profound love mixed with helplessness.  I brought my babies into the world because I believe in it; I believe the world is a beautiful place and that the human experience is worth having.  At the same time, all of the evils of humankind seem to be highlighted to me now that I have children.  I imagine future talks about 'stranger-danger,' and 'appropriate and inappropriate touching.'  I imagine my girls learning of all of the inhumanity in the world  and it saddens me. 

So this is one of my many personal challenges:  to focus on the beauty, focus on the love, focus on the here and now.  All we have for sure is this moment, and right now, in this moment I'll gladly be the fearless bee-protector.