I’m afraid of Zoe’s foot getting stuck between the bars of her crib and afraid of Jackson rolling off the top bunk. I’m afraid that the ancient garbage disposal will hack and heave all that old roast beef back up again. I’m afraid that the new passport won’t make it in time for the trip home again. I’m afraid of the words I want to say and some of the words I’ve already said.
I’m afraid of Micah losing parts of what make him a virulent truth teller and other days I’m afraid he’ll be the reason we all take our first ride in an ambulance. I’m afraid of the news stories that fill my head with nightmares and I’m afraid of my inability to guarantee a pain free future for my children.
I’m afraid of kidnappers and grocery store aisles that tempt Zoe away from me and afraid of the gas light that flickers low on late drives home. I’m afraid of commutes and traffic accidents and reports of storms. I’m afraid we’ll never move out of this house and afraid that if we do we’ll find that we miss it.
I’m afraid of not being home for years and of what my parents miss between Zoe turning two when she was only 2 months old the last time we were home. I’m afraid of missing out on my brothers’ art and my father’s gray hairs. I’m afraid that the Jacaranda tree at the top of that steep, stone driveway won’t remember me anymore.
I’m afraid of vulnerability and even more afraid of losing it.
I’m afraid of mothering blind but blind is sometimes the way motherhood walks forward – one dark and trembling step at a time.
Some days I feel so small and afraid it’s hard to breathe. The world and my tiny place in it crushes down on my chest and just getting up and into my sweat pants feels like courage. The chocolate ice cream helps. And I know that next week or tomorrow I will be less tired and may get a glimpse of glory when one of those boys sits down beside me and lets me hold his hand like when they were little.
I will lean into Micah’s neck and kiss the soft skin behind his ear, all newly naked since his dad buzzed him on Saturday night. I will kiss him and inhale the DNA of courage. I will admit my fears to my friends who love me and skip Sunday school to sit with me when I’m shaking in my new boots about to go up on stage and teach during church.
I will remember that faith has always walked forward blind.
And that the opposite of fear is love.
So we open our hearts and our front doors and our stories. We write with so much love for our readers, our children, our people that our fingers bleed with it. We find the music in the day and dance barefoot in the living room until our kids are all laughing too and dancing with faith and chubby feet.
Until we fall down giddy, beloved, and ready to get back up again.