You know how you always hear people say ‘my heart jumped into my throat’, or ‘I felt my heart skip a beat!’ or one of the many other ways of saying something really affected you? Nothings ever really happened like that to me before. Other than those times when I was frightened for myself, but, I mean, who cares when I almost get hit by a car?!
The real point of interest here is something outside of yourself having such an impact on your emotions that at any given time it can affect you physiologically.
I was walking around a department store avoiding stepping on E as she picked tiny bits of fluff off the floor, intermittently bopped to Gotye and pulled herself up on the hanging clothes.
She grooved her way over to some boxes and babbled some nonsense to me, stood up and extended a closed fist towards me (you. I don’t know why but I enjoy pointing at her and saying ‘who is the [cleverest, bravest, best eater, most diverse mess maker, nicest singer, accomplished infant pole vaulter]? You. And I point at her).
So I said ‘you, baby. Come tell mama what the puppy dog/pussy cat/ducky/baa lamb/moo cow says,’ and with an envigorated Gotye fuelled bop, the hand still supporting her lost its traction and she wobbled.
I tasted my heart. It wasn’t just in my throat, it stopped, hit the back of my teeth, rattled around, absorbed all the blood in my face and slammed down to the bottom of my stomach with an unearthly thud.
It kind of took me by surprise. I love her and I worry and I get a shock when she bumps her head but.. for the first time it dawned on me that she is literally a human being. And she’s going to do shit I’m not prepared for, or that I don’t see or know about and I won’t always be able to catch her before she stumbles or skins her knee. Or tears the hem on a rack of dresses marked down to $3.50.
I had to get her Nan to carry her around for a while, while my organs realigned.
Of course mum took her to the rocking horses that make sounds when you squeeze their ears – apparently these are the singular most terrifying objects leafy has ever come across in her short life. She actually squealed, tried to climb over and behind mums shoulder and bury her face in her hair. There were tears. Even looking back at them she let out a wail and insisted she be carried inside my jacket till we got back to the car.
We don’t ask what a horsey says.
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