Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Counting Time

Nine years ago today, I survived a Palestinian sniper's attack on the Tunnel Road in Gush Etzion, 32.5 years to the minute that I was born in New York City.

Around this day last year, I saw my baby's heart beat for the first time, after being told in error by the doctors that I was not carrying a viable fetus.

Last night, Harry woke me up more often than Raphaela.

Life is good, I am the most content I have ever been within myself, and my daughter brings me more joy than I ever could have imagined.

And yet the twisted recesses of my imagination plague me on a regular basis.

When I pass a person in a wheel chair, or a child with Downs Syndrome, I wonder what I would have done about the pregnancy if I had found out that Raphaela carried a genetic disability.

As I stand on the sidewalk with Raphaela in the stroller, waiting for a green light, I wonder what would happen to my child if I got killed in an accident, who would take care of her and raise her.

How would I find her if she were G-d Forbid kidnapped?

Will we live on the street if I cannot earn enough money?

I worry that the plane we take on British Air next month will crash, and I will have to hold her while we bail out into the ocean.

Who will protect Raphaela when she is 18 years old, if she chooses to become a soldier in the Israeli army?

Will I ever get married?

I don't understand this tendency of my mind to play out worst case scenarios, events which will never happen, and I would not wish upon anyone.

We live this life, with our souls living in a borrowed body, for the purpose of refining ourselves and toward experiencing the full range of experiences and emotions.
Today I am happy.

NB Here is what Vicki Iovine, author of the Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood, has to say about what she calls, Fantasies of Disasters or Bizarre Fears:
"I was forever imagining disasters that could befall the baby while she was in my care...I also dreamed on a regular basis that I went somewhere with the baby and then left without her, completely forgetting I'd given birth. My Girlfriend Chrissie used to worry that she would stand too near a balcony or ledge while holding her newborn and inexplicably lose her grasp, sending the baby flying into space."

In other words, I am a normal new mother.

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