Having a child is akin to removing your heart from your body and placing it at the center of a stampede. You’re vulnerable. You’re scared. You’re going to get hurt – repeatedly.
I was watching a TV show the other day where a baby was kidnapped to get to her grandfather. I can’t shed a single tear at funerals, but I broke down crying in front of the TV. I saw my little girl in place of that baby and my brain played a hundred different scenarios in my head. My dad isn’t a Mafia drug lord and neither is my father-in-law. There’s really no reason for my daughter to be kidnapped when we live in one of the safest cities in the world, yet I cried. Somebody stepped on my heart.
I can’t read the news anymore. All objectivity is lost. I got into a heated argument with my husband about the impact of increased refugee numbers on the European economies. While he spoke about jobs, infrastructure and taxation, all that I could think of was one thing – what if I had to put my child on a boat in the open ocean, because that was my best shot at protecting them? Hundreds of people stomped on my heart.
A heart so trodden on, is a heart that hurts. It’s a heart that fears. Then again, a heart so trodden on, is a heart that empathizes. It’s a heart that cares.
I pause to think every time I read the news. Perhaps that person who just died left behind a scared child. I keep my anger in check. There might be a crying baby in the car that didn’t give me way. I give more. The waiter who served me today could be tending to a sick child at home.
I view the world differently now. The little person that eats my food and hugs me only when her hands are sticky, has changed me. Has she slipped baby-coloured glasses on my eyes or taken away the veil of indifference that I’d knitted over them? I don’t know, but I do wonder – would the world be a better place if we were all mothers?