I knelt on the carpet outside, figuring out a way to coax this former newborn away from the gripping hands of panic and toward rationality, so she could simply unlock the door.
It seemed so simple. But my hands were sweating.
"Huh?" In all, I calmed down too. I told her to put her fingers on that thingie that stuck out over the lock. "Huh?" I explained that it had to turn 'sideways' instead of 'up and down'. I felt so stupid explaining this to a 4-year old. How was she going to understand? I calmly talked her through it and suddenly, 'Pop! ' the door opened.
I told her, "YOU did it!" "YOU figured it out!" "YOU are so smart!" as each whimpering and shaking continued to consume every breath. Beforehand, they rose and continued from the pillar of fear that had rendered her so helpless and so alone, to be rendered inert. Helpless. Stuck. Alone. Afraid. Now, her fears were gone, banished to go under the beds and into the dark shadows, forever jailed and never to return.
And I saw all of the "newborn babies" that every mother sees in every child, no matter how old each baby is. And I understood what it really, really meant to give up your life for your baby, as a mother. We live and love for them. We put them first. We cast aside our own Mommy desires. We strive to give them the Mommy lessons and the lives that we never had. We want them to come to us, to love us just as we could never go to our own moms. I never, ever, ever want to lose her, or hurt her, or cause her not to trust me; not in any way.
Because nothing in this world was better at this moment,
and I could not keep it, even by writing it down to share it with you.
It's in my heart and in my brain. It lives on forever.
Maybe when she is a teenager, she can look back at this and know how much I loved her.
Or maybe when she has her own newborn, the epiphany will "shine" and
she will finally, finally, understand me, her own Mommy who loves her so much.
No. No matter what, I know that no one can take that "newborn" in her away from me.
I am her Mommy and she is my daughter, my newborn.
It lives on forever, with a life of its own.