Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Shock of the Orange
So I wrote my prayer and took all the steps necessary to roll with the girls. I had two errands to run: two. One, two. The first was to mail Clementine's invitations, which had been sitting here long enough to have Valentine's cards tucked inside. Her birthday party will take place on Saturday; I mean, I really couldn't procrastinate any longer. I used to love going to the post office, but--with the double stroller--it's become a production and a horror. I don't know that I could make myself go for any reason, ever, if it weren't for the hope of running into David Samuel.
Sadly, I didn't run into David, today.
After I mailed the invitations, I put Charleigh back in the minivan. I almost always put Clementine in the minivan, first, but it's cold and snowy, today, and Charleigh has a runny nose and cough. Charleigh was already buckled into her infant seat when I put her in the minivan, so my back was turned to Clementine for mere seconds, but--when I turned around--the double stroller was empty, and Clementine was gone.
How to describe the horror of the next few seconds: the frantic looking and running around the minivan and screaming Clementine's name? Cars rolling through the parking lot. Cars moving 55 mph on the highway. Then I saw her, in her hot-pink Dora fleece and red boggin hat with dangling strawberries. She was running in the yard between the post office and the highway. I ran and scooped her up, and everything was ok, again.
Just now, Rachel said: "This won't be the only time she leaves you breathless." I know she's right, and it upends me. Clementine has been a shock to my system from very early in my pregnancy with her. I was ill with the others, too, but not like with Clementine: passing out in the Dollar Tree, requiring insulin shots, vomiting an entire bag of trail mix in the Walmart parking lot, oh! and abandoning my wallet and groceries at a Food-Lion checkout to run outside and vomit into a hale bale (peeing myself in the process), after which I had to go back into the store w/ my pee-drenched overalls in order to complete my transaction. I may have peed myself, while vomiting, every day (sometimes several times a day) while pregnant with Clementine. I don't think I peed myself once during my pregnancy with Charleigh, who was born only eighteen months after Clementine. I'm still so confused.
It was humbling to parent Clementine before her arrival; now...now, I don't even have words. The mothers of teenaged girls keep saying: "You just wait!" And I wish they would stop, because Clementine's not even two, and, already, I'm terrified of how many rough edges God is going to knock off of me in being her mom. Already, she grieves me and stresses me to the point that...again, I don't have words.
My boy, my baby: with very little exception, I have always known what they will do. Unlike Clementine, they have my blood type, my personality. But Clementine's every waking moment is a mystery-surprise. I try to talk about it, and people say: "Oh, she's so adorable and full of life," and yes, yes, I see that, too. She's wonderful! She's the most loving child I've ever known, and her eyes dance and very often the rest of her, too. It's not like I don't love her, don't want her. It's more like I don't know what to do with her. I believe God paired us together, but--aside from the fact that Clementine hates the sound of the vacuum cleaner almost as much as I hate using the vacuum cleaner--I don't really understand why? Already, I know she will teach me more than my other two children times six, and I'm scared. And admitting as much is the only thing that makes me feel better. Except praying.
Earlier, Rachel said: "She's got guardian angels, Brandee. And now Bob's up there, watching down." And thank God, because I need them, and all of you, too. I really, really do.