my soul jumped.

i started writing this post on wednesday. it is one of many posts that i have written and then decided not to publish. the horrible events of today made me decide to share this: 

we checked out of target yesterday, and before leaving i tucked chloe in the back of the cart between two queen sized down alternative pillows. she rested her cheek against the thin plastic covering them and smiled. i melted for the five-thousandth time that day. it doesn't get old. it just doesn't. i keep hoping it won't, fearing that it will, and my soul is ecstatic every day that it hasn't. even if you don't see me jumping up and down for joy every time i look at her, i promise you - i am deep in my soul where you can't even see it.

i can remember a short exchange i had with my mother at least eight years ago. i was still married to my first husband. she was still married to her second. all four of us were in the small basement apartment that me and my husband rented at that time. it's windows were flush with the ground. it was your standard, white wall, beige carpet apartment. mini blinds. hand-me-down furniture that didn't look like us. weird photo frames and lamps that we registered for without knowing where we would live, and later wondering what we were ever thinking when we asked for them. i don't remember what we were talking about, just the look in my mother's eyes. she was looking at me, and her soul was jumping. i don't remember the context of the conversation, just what she said and those amazing eyes, "you get married and you think you know what love is, and then you have a child, and there is no love like that". my mom has not been perfect, but the look in her eyes filled me with wonder of what this love was that she talked about.

she looked at me and her soul jumped.

we continued to walk out the doors of the target and chloe stood up in the cart, still wedged between the pillows, and holding onto the side of the cart, looking at shoppers passing by. i looked at the parking lot and stopped walking. i scanned the busy parking lot for moving cars and firmly told chloe to sit as i started walking to our car.

what if a car came by and hit my cart, throwing chloe on the ground?

this is a horrible thought. but honestly, these thoughts go through my head quite regularly. if she sleeps in a bit longer than she usually would, i need to peek in and make sure she is still breathing. she always is. i regularly fight off worries that a drunk driver will hit our car and injure or kill my beloved baby.  i hear of horrible things happening to children almost every day and try to shut them out. when these horrible thoughts go through my head i hope that if anything ever happened to her, that i wouldn't live to grieve it. and i know that i wouldn't.

if she died, i would need to also. there is no question. even if i went on living, i think i would die in many ways, though not physically. i wouldn't need to take my own life, it would just leave. i cannot imagine living if she did not exist and know that my body would just become a hollow shell.

christian and i joke about who will go first. we fight over who gets to go before the other because we just don't want to be alone when we are old. we argue over the need for the other to, or not to remarry if one of us goes young. i won't, he must. we are newly-weds, we love each other and i have no doubt that with time and years our love will develop new depth. but sometimes i worry that while i do love him terribly, i just don't love him like i do chloe. and i don't. like my mother said, "you get married and you think you know what love is..."

i do love my husband. but i can see myself living without him and just being happy to have had him. people die. you and i will too.

this is where i left off on wednesday night. i didn't finish the post or publish it because it read so dreary and so sad. it felt too morbid, and i didn't want anyone who reads my blog to think i am terribly morbid, because i am not. i think that many parents struggle with the same thoughts and fears i have described and that these thoughts and fears go hand-in-hand with the love for a child that makes your soul jump.

when a child dies you are left without that "happy to have had them" feeling. it just should never happen. when i heard of the shooting in connecticut this afternoon i was filled with sadness. what a horrible, horrible tragedy. this is a parents nightmare. as a mother i cannot express the sorrow that has filled my own heart for the parents and families of these children, and the families of the adults who were also murdered today. this should have never happened and in times like this you contemplate how horrible this world can be. i am sorry. my thoughts, prayers, and many tears are yours tonight.

i held chloe tighter today. my soul jumped.



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