Thursday, December 11, 2008

Prompt 24.5. Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back./True Writers

Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back. - John Ruskin, The Crown of Wild Olive, 1866

It's hard to believe that we finally have Joe home, but, here he is. After all those weeks of worry, of the endless hours spent listening to the hissing and beeping of the monitors and vents in the NICU. I can't stop thinking about all of the times that I kissed him good-bye and wondered if it might be for the last time. Or how many sleepless nights I spent worrying over whether his fate would be the same as Jasna and Marko's? But, here he is, all of my fears were for naught, he's finally home, and he's healthy, and happy, and that's all that matters.

Sitting here, now, in the quiet darkness of the early morning, with him in my arms, it's hard to believe he's real. I've dreamed about moments like this for so long, and now that it's here, it's hard to explain how it makes me feel. I keep thinking I should pinch myself to make sure it's not a dream, but, then he smiles at me, or coos, or he grabs my finger and whatever thoughts were in my head are gone and all that remains behind is my love for him. How can someone so small command so much power over me? But, he does, and I think he always will.

As much as I love Joe, I worry for him. God, please tell me how do I get past my fear for him? I look into his eyes and I can't help but wonder if he knows that as much as I love him, there's a part of me that is still afraid of losing him. I look back on those weeks he spent in the NICU, I look back at his surgery, and I have to force myself to believe that he will never know anything worse then that in his life. I never want Joe to know the sacrifices that Jasna and Marko were forced to make, I never want him to know that kind of hate, I never want him to experience that kind of fear. A father's supposed to protect their children from harm, and while I know what happened to Jasna and Marko wasn't really my fault, I still carry the guilt of having failed them. I don't want Joe to feel like a caged bird, I want him to experience everything life has to offer, but, there will always be that part of me that wants to shelter him, and to keep him safe. Please, God, help me know when to stop, I couldn't bear it if at some point my over protectiveness were to chase him away.

I want to believe that my need to protect Joe will fade as he gets older, as he passes the ages that Marko and Jasna were at their deaths, maybe then I'll be able to finally let them go. As I look at my son's face, and into his eyes, I realize that we have so much to learn from each other, and this time, I know that we'll have a lifetime to do it in. Please God, please don't let me be wrong.

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