Cliches become cliches, overused so much they become a joke, for a reason: They are usually very true. Before I became a mother, I heard how it was such a lifechanging experience, and that I would never be the same,and blah, blah, blah. I didn't really comprehend how true this was, or maybe I just wasn't listening. I was only twenty-one, after all, when Cath was born.
And, then, she arrived, all five pounds of her, covered in hair like a monkey and with a plaintive cry that was like a vise on my heart. When I held her, I had the first inkling how lifechanging she would be, and am still figuring out how much she and Sarah have the power to rock my complacency. I knew, when I held her, that someday I would die, and was okay with that. What I used to fear most was my own death, but suddenly, I loved something more, and knew I could never, in a million years, keep on living in a world she was not. I was okay with the thought of ending, as long as she kept going.
Then, Sarah was born, and I thought, "Okay. I have one of these, I know exactly what to expect." But, two girls could not be more different, from day one. I had to learn parenting all over again, because I had never parented a Sarah. They've asked more times than I can remember who I love more, and there is no answer to that. I love them both most.
So, when Sarah ran away from school on Tuesday, because a really cruel seventh grader was spreading rumors about her that Sarah just couldn't combat, my mom called me at work to tell her Sarah was safe, at grandma's house, but very, very upset. And, my world rocked again. She is fine, now, and back in school after I met with the principal, and took Sarah shopping and we talked about how much middle school sucks, for everyone. That's a cliche that is universally true; middle school just sucks.
But, sometimes, high school sucks, too. And so does home life for a teenager. And, throughout Sarah's little drama, I kept thinking of Jake, who died last month, because his life was so hard, he hung himself in the boys' bathroom at school. How must his parents feel? And how could he have done it, broken the little neck his parents held when he was too small to hold his head up himself?
I am so lucky to have my kids. I sometimes regret having them so young, but have to stop myself, because if they weren't born when they were, they wouldn't be exactly the souls they are. And lucky, to have my heart broken regularly by them, even when they don't mean to. Whereever they go in life, when they hurt, I hurt, too. They take my heart each time they take a step. They changed my life.