Momma Lion and Her Baby Cub

Love is not measurable. My business teacher lectured us on quality control in business and that quality is something that cannot be measured. Emotions are not measurable. My daughter and I still do our best to measure it anyhow. Some of the things we say to each other are: “I love you WAY above the planet”, “you’re my best girl; you’re my best mommy”, and “who loves you the most?”

It’s been a little over six years and I still sometimes look at her and think, holy cow she’s my child. I’m her mother. I guess that feeling of how remarkable parenting is will never leave me. We know we love our kids more than anything else in the world. We say it to them and ourselves all of the time. But it can’t be measured and can’t be physically weighed. You almost don’t realize how strong it is because it’s just so natural, like breathing. Do you notice how many breathes you take? Do you focus to breathe? Of course you don’t. Like breathing, you just naturally love your child.

The strength of my emotions for Halle came rushing through me in a matter of seconds last Saturday. We were preparing for her dental work and I was as calm as can be; leading by example for my child. I knew she was going to be “put to sleep” but in my mind I imagined that she’d close her eyes and just sleep. How wrong I was. After the shot she was given while sitting in my lap, a few minutes passed before she stopped talking. She didn’t respond which is what the dentist told me would soon happen. Since her eyes were open I didn’t believe her to be asleep. I told her “I love you” and she didn’t say it back. At that point I knew she was out, but her eyes were open which made it terrifying for me. The anesthesiologist then said “want to come with me now?” My daughter does NOT go anywhere with strangers, yet she didn’t answer and didn’t react to him taking her from me. She lay motionless in his arms with her eyes wide open.

To say I freaked out might be an understatement. They assured me that this is a natural reaction and that everything was normal, but I was still terrified. In an instant my heart was racing, my eyes were balling and I was shaking. I walked outside to catch my breath. All I knew is that I wanted to shake Halle and wake her up. My instincts screamed that something was wrong with my baby. I wanted to take action. I eventually came to my senses and calmed down; Halle came awake an hour and a half later. She’s doing well since the appointment. Reflecting on how I physically reacted to seeing her that way, I am amazed. Of course we know we love our children, but I had yet to experience such a physical and consuming reaction to what I perceived as harm of my child. I didn’t think she was literally being harmed, but wow a mother’s instincts to protect are just as primal as a mother lion protecting her cub.

If love could be measured, I can’t imagine what our love would rate. I imagine that the scale wouldn’t be strong enough to weigh it for us. What I felt that day, sadly, is what some parents have to feel everyday with their sick children. I thank my lucky stars that Halle is over all a healthy and ailment free child. My heart goes out to parents who raise their children in and out of hospitals and surgeries. We all deserve healthy children.

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