Last Saturday, as I was preparing Joshua's stuff for an overnight trip with my parents and sisters, it hit me again. That paralyzing fear I feel every time one or both of my children go places without either me or their dad. It's completely irrational and ridiculous, I know but I can't help it. It's the constant fear of losing them. I torture myself with thousands of scenarios running through my mind. And all the while, I stroke and kiss and hug Joshua, constantly telling him I love him and I'll miss him, even if he'll only be gone for a day. Maybe he senses my anxiety, for he looks at me strangely, then takes my face between his hands and tells me he's going to be allright. And I'm still thinking, what if I never see him again? How can I bear it?
Then I do what I always do everytime this happens. I ask Jun, "He's going to be ok, right?". And his response is always the same. "Yes, he will." I keep quiet then and bring Joshua to the car where everyone was waiting. I kiss and hug him goodbye and then I pray. I once asked Jun in a fit of depression and anger after Joshua's birth because Josh wasn't well and couldn't go home for a month, "Why are you ok? How come you're not as sad as me?" His answer was so simple yet it struck me speechless, and, I admit, with a little bit of shame. He said, "Because you have to believe that your prayers will be answered." And so in times like these, I ask him for reassurance but all the same, I don't think I completely breathe until I see Joshua again the next day. My Dad said the first thing Joshua says when he wakes up the next morning was, ''Grandpa, can we go home now? I miss my mommy."
It's a terrible way to live, I know but I have a feeling it will always be this way for me no matter how grown up they become. I mentioned in a previous post that having children means having your heart walking around out of your body. And while it means living with constant fear and worry, it also means experiencing the greatest joy. And I wouldn't exchange it for anything in the world.