By Diane Ako
Having a kid spins your sense of time in a totally different way. Time becomes an enemy. I know this because I experienced the first panic attack of time slipping when Olivia was born. It was in South Carolina I was reminded again.
We were winding down the day and lying in our big, cozy king bed. I don't remember exactly what we were talking about, but I said to her, “I worry about you all the time."
"I worry about you, too," she answered. Wow, really? I wondered what a five year old could possibly worry about.
“You dying. Me being taken from you,” she said.
From the mouth of babes! I felt so guilty because I'm sure I, more than anyone else, has given her those fears. I’ve conveyed it in a thousand warnings not to do this or touch that, and to stay away from strangers. Poor girl! Her biggest worry should really only be what to bring for Show & Tell or how to share toys!
“Oh, Honey. I’m not intending to die any time soon. I want to be around for you, too,” I said.
Olivia looked so relieved and happy and threw her little arms around my neck. She gave me a long, hard hug.
We touch all the time. We hold hands and embrace constantly, but this was a different hug. It was a deep, meaningful, relieved hug, and it melted me. “I love you, Mommy,” she said finally.
Sometimes, I wish she could always be five and I could always be the magical Mommy with all the answers. I hope she doesn't grow up and stop wanting to throw her arms around my neck.