“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
This quote beautifully captures the profound emotional experience of becoming a parent, particularly as a mom, I’ve used this line often – in relation to my daughter.
When you decide to have a child, you are making a life-changing decision. The term “momentous” emphasizes the significance and magnitude of this decision. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, as it will shape the course of your life in ways you can’t fully anticipate.
The phrase “to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body” speaks to the emotional vulnerability and attachment that comes with parenthood. Your child, becomes an extension of yourself, and your love and concern for her are so intense that it’s as if a piece of your heart is no longer contained within your body but is now out in the world, in her presence.
This quote resonates particularly with (my) parent-daughter relationship, highlighting the unique bond between us. The sentiment expressed is that having a child is not just a physical act but a profound emotional commitment. It means opening yourself up to a whole new dimension of love, worry, joy, and growth as you navigate the journey of parenthood together.
Whenever I ponder about things, I would be reminded that I have lived the longest with my daughter. Of the 43 years I have lived on earth, half was with her. (Hubby migrated earlier, so I have spent more years with my daughter than with him.) ^_^
“When a child is born, so is a mother“ came true for me with her. It meant the process of childbirth not only brings a new life into the world but also marks the birth of a mother as a new identity and role.
Before becoming a mom, I am a person with different interests. However, when she was born, as a first baby, everything changed dramatically. She (along with her brothers) have been on top of my so-called life “lists”. Yes, for 22 years now, I’ve been living with my heart outside my body.
On those times she was away for a whole week skiing (happened every winter season), during short field trips to the city, when she first flew out of the country without us, and even during biking by herself, my poor heart has also been away. Much more so when she has a school accident that left her arm broken, my heart was almost shattered.
-These moments of separation can and did trigger a mix of emotions – a sense of pride in my child’s independence and growth, but also a longing for her presence and a natural concern for her well-being.
-A first trip of a child alone can evoke a complex blend of emotions. There was excitement for the new experiences and adventures, but also a feeling of separation anxiety and a protective instinct to ensure the kids’ safety in an unfamiliar place. I can still remember how I neatly packed her stuff, which to use for each day – complete from socks to gloves.
-Even in everyday activities like biking, my heart is emotionally connected to her well-being. I’m guessing I’m not the only parent with constant concern and attachment, regardless of the nature of the activity.
“…my poor heart has also been away.”: This of course captures the emotional distance I feel when my child is not physically present. It conveys the idea that the parent’s heart, which is deeply tied to their child, goes with them wherever they are.
–The moments of crisis and vulnerability that a child might face and the hurt a child feels is also felt – so much so that it hurts the heart. The mention of a school accident resulting in a broken arm reflects the fragility of a child’s well-being and the immediate emotional impact it has. (My) heart being “shattered” expresses the emotional pain and distress experienced.
To have your heart go walking around outside your body, I guess, paints a vivid picture of a parent’s deep emotional connection to their child. It emphasizes the range of emotions experienced – from joy in their child’s growth and independence to concern for their safety and well-being. It also illustrates how even mundane activities can elicit strong emotional responses due to the parent’s constant attachment.
The previous post was addressed to my son, as he moved to his new flat. This one is for my daughter, as she moved to hers a while back. I never expected for them to leave the proverbial nest too soon.
Call it separation anxiety in parents or empty nest syndrome as you may, it is true that the absence of daily interactions with one’s children can lead to feelings of loneliness and constant wondering – I’m definitely this person now. Our home that was once filled with the daily activities and the presence of my two older kids suddenly feel so quiet.
As a mom, I worry about their well-being, safety, and ability to handle the challenges of the outside world. While I did my best to make sure they would be tough out there, the worry is something that keeps me up at night or in the wee hours of the morning. Also, while modern technology allows for easy contact, I think the shift from daily face-to-face interactions to “I see when I see you” would take time for me to adjust to.
I don’t know how long it would take, just as children need time to adjust to their new independent lives, mothers (fathers, siblings, and pets) also need time to adapt to the changes. I’m pretty much aware that the process of adapting to an “empty nest” is unique to each individual and family. Just let me sulk for a while.