Children are a heartbreak from the moment you know you are having them, from the moment you find out they exist. This hope starts to grow inside of you, because that is what they are and that is what they become. Hope. For better times, for a decent life, for smiles, laughter, health and memories. You can have all this without children and it is probably less painful.
I look at my children and it hurts. The love itself is terrifying, and you would like to run away because it brings such hope, and hope is painful. They never told you that, did they? That is can rip you open and rub you raw. They are a heartache from the start, I tell you. From the moment you feel the love you are doomed. They start ripping you up inside. They grow too fast for one thing. They make you fall in love with them. I mean, you would kill for them, as well as die for them, but what you start to do is live for them. But soon they don’t even need you anymore.
See one moment they are helpless without you, dependent on you for life itself. Then the next they are pulling their hand out of yours. It’s a piss take. They are slipping through your fingers from the start, and they are never truly yours, although you are theirs forever. They start growing and changing, and you start falling behind, because that is what it feels like. Like you can’t catch your breath, can’t keep up, can’t hold on. And the slipping gets faster and faster, every day, every week, every year gets faster than the last.
You would like to hold time still, fix it in your eye line and challenge it not to move. You would like to grab those moments, those ones that sink your guts and moisten your eyes. You would like to be able to grab them and feel them and stuff them somewhere, hold them somewhere they can’t get free from. But the moments slip faster, one blink and they are gone. You smile and carry on, but deep inside is a pain that will never heal. Because it all starts going too fast.
The pain and the hope exist side by side; they are one and the same. They feed off each other. The happier you are, the more hope you feel lifting you up, the more the fear swells with the realisation that it could all fall away at any moment. That’s what hurts, that’s what kills. They are fragile things like all human life. And the trouble is, their pain is now your pain, their sadness will be yours as well. You would take it away for them if you could but mostly you are pretty helpless, and all just at the mercy of life, and whatever lies around each corner. Living life with a constant squint in your eyes, ready to duck or dive should trouble come your way. Try and see it off. Try and see it coming. Never knowing if this happy moment you are in is going to be the last for a long time to come. Never knowing if each simple perfect day is about to fall off the tracks and change everything. You live in hope and you live in fear. I don’t know why we do it to ourselves, but we do.