I took a personal day this afternoon. Usually during nap time I am cleaning the house, making dinner, working on sewing projects, paying bills, etc., but this afternoon I decided to stop, sit and watch a movie: Life as we know it. I'd seen the previews. I knew it was a chick flick, but I thought it would be mindless. It ended up being anything but mindless. You see, the whole basis of the movie was that parents die and leave their infant daughter in the care of their best friends. While there was a great deal of humor ('cause who doesn't laugh watching someone learn to change a diaper for the first time!), I couldn't stop seeing Little One and Little Two's faces.
I pictured someone telling Little One Mommy and Daddy wouldn't be coming home. That Mommy and Daddy had died and he wouldn't see us again. I pictured Little Two screaming because he was waiting for me to nurse him. I heard them crying for mommy and daddy, but we weren't there.
That is one of a parent's worst fears: to die and leave our little ones at the mercy of someone else. Little Two would be okay, in fact, after awhile he probably wouldn't remember us, but Little One would be devastated. He would understand enough to know Husband and I were not coming back, but he wouldn't understand why. He would be confused, scared, and the thought of him being afraid and his world shaken like that literally brings tears to my eyes. So I begin to think. Who would be the best people to care for my little ones? Do we have EVERYTHING all set if that were to happen? Why have I not made an in case we die folder that spells EVERYTHING out?? I mean EVERYTHING! What they eat, when they nap, favorite toys, what comforts them, doctor and family's numbers ... everything I can possibly think of to make the most horrific transition just a little bit easier.
Husband and I are organized, we plan, we are in control. We prepare for parent-teacher conferences, write down our questions for the doctor, and leave detailed instructions for babysitters. We take our role seriously, and that is good, but at what point do we, as parents, have to let go? To trust that if something happened to us the guardians (we picked) for Little One and Little Two would also have their best interests at heart. That another mother would love my little ones as much as I do. That other parents would raise our children just as well as we would, but perhaps differently, and that differently is okay. That despite all the scenarios I've dreamed up in my mind, my little ones would be okay.
The thing is, when we love our little ones as much as we do we can't help worrying. We can't help over planning, and it is nearly impossible to 'let go'. So we write out schedules, leave numbers, have meals planned, and encourage our little ones to find comfort and security in things outside of ourselves ... sometimes ... all the while, desperately trying to remember we are not the only people who love our little ones dearly, and that the God who entrusted them to us in the first place will take care of them if He calls us home before our time.