Monday, January 30, 2012

She is here for me by needing me to be here for her

I looked at the new USDA zone maps yesterday while sorting out my seeds so I could figure out what I needed to get for what we wanted to plant this year. ("Tatatoes," said Chloë, meaning tomatoes. "How about peppers?" I asked. "And carrots? And peas?" "Yes," she said. "And tatatoes.") I'd known that we moved up a zone, from 5 to 6, but seeing it on the map somehow drove it home. Hello global warming. Hello inexorable slide into destruction as the Earth turns into a flaming coal and my children are left to gasp their ways to a dessicated death on the once-fertile plains that will no longer support them!

Which is ridiculous, of course. But somehow the idea got into my brain, and not long after when we were getting ready to go out shopping I found myself near tears. Eric asked what was wrong. While I helped Chloe on with her boots I answered, "I'm headachy, and sorry I got you sick, and worried about the baby,* and OHMIGOD THESE ARE THE END DAYS AND OUR CHILDREN ARE DOOMED."

I clutched my head, knowing I was being ridiculous; and Chloë crouched down and said, "Why are you sad? I am here. We are here for you."

That did make me start to cry. I got a hug from her and we finished our preparations and went to the car. Chloë fell asleep during the drive. We suspected she hadn't actually napped, so we discussed how to handle things so as not to wake her. When we arrived at the mall, Eric went inside to get a few things while I sat in the car, playing with Maia and watching Chloë sleep. Maia enjoyed exploring the front of the car and being swung around (a little) and pushing the various buttons and levers. I held her so she wouldn't fall, and looked back at Chloë every once in a while, making sure the blanket hadn't moved and watching her eyes move beneath her eyelids. And I didn't worry about the future.

*Maia has taken teething very hard. She started with a couple of days of fever, though that's gone now, and is generally clingier than usual. While she does have happy periods and is nursing well, her appetite has plummeted and we can't get through a meal, whether she's eating anything or not, without her bursting out crying and reaching for me as if despair has suddenly seized her too. Fundamentally she's fine, but she's not very happy.

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