SOMETIMES it’s like your heart is so full you feel as if it could explode at any moment.
Sometimes you feel almost frantic; panicked, like lightning is running through your veins. You feel happy and terrified all at the same time.
That’s what it feels like, to be a mother – like falling in love while marching towards your death. That heady mix of unconditional love that threatens to overwhelm everything and a bottomless pit of fear.
His silky hair. His velvet skin. His tiny perfectly formed fingers. His smile, his big blue eyes, his arms reaching out to you. Only you.
The way he discovers new things, plays busily with his toys, smushes food into his high chair; the way he delights in everything.
I stood in the cool dark beside his cot last night, listening to him breathing, watching him. He slept, as usual, on his back, with his arms thrown up carelessly behind his head.
So perfect. So content. So loved.
As I stood, I thought about the other child. The other perfect little being, not much older than my boy, who died yesterday in America after being accidentally left in a car. And my heart shattered.
I thought about his mother and his father. Destroyed. Broken. Their worst fear realised. Their lives undone.
How does a parent cope when they lose a child? I can’t imagine it. I don’t want to imagine it.
Stroking my baby’s forehead last night I wept for that other little boy and his parents. Tears of sorrow and tears of relief, that it wasn’t me. And it wasn’t him.
Hug your little ones a bit closer today. We don’t know how lucky we are.