Today on the “tickle bed” Hannah fell into the headboard and we had one of those moments.
Today as Chloe talked to her Nana on the phone, she fell and we had another.
Hannah’s nose was bruised, but it seems OK.
Chloe scraped her thigh, but not too badly.
Yet for me, these two moments were palpable reminders that in a moment everything can change. The fragility of life announces itself to me in the gut as a poignant nausea. It is related to that feeling of vertigo that comes when I focus too intensely on the finitude of my life, of Val’s and especially of Hannah and Chloe’s.
Even so, as I looked at Hannah’s nose, red and flattened, as I held her crying, I was brought back to another moment, to an early moment with her, when her nose seemed strangely similar, when she too was crying … it was shortly after her birth and I was holding her, trying to comfort her as she was being rudely measured and poked by nurses and doctors ensuring that all her parts were in order. I remember feeling that she was so small but so strong, so resilient.
I rely on that resilience; I have faith in it even as that lingering nausea reminds me that there will be things from which I cannot protect them, ultimate things no one can avoid. In the meantime, however, there are the hugs, a bit of ice, a smile through tears, a princess band-aid and the tenacious courage to go on.