This is a line from the book, If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie. I loved this line in the book as it's so true. I think there is nothing greater than a mothers love. To be a mother that suddenly becomes terrified of the outside, of life, of dealings with other human beings. How do you raise a child when you can't even handle life yourself? And as a child, how do you know that the way your mother is is not normal? Do you understand, or do you accept only what you do know?
I remember when my daughter April was born. I didn't work for two years after she was born, just stayed home and took care of her. At that time we lived in a mobile home, in a mobile home park. My husband worked two jobs to provide for us and when he came home he was tired and grumpy and we fought a lot and he didn't help much with the baby.
My mom, who was and still is my best friend lived 30 minutes away and I would talk to her every morning on the phone and again in the evening, but other than the communication with my mom and my grumpy husband I spoke to no one all day except my baby daughter.
Before you knew it she became my whole world and being home, in my sweet little two bedroom mobile home...well that became my whole world too. I can remember the UPS driver coming to the house one morning to deliver a package and I hid like the mafia was outside waiting to kidnap me and my daughter and take us away, peeking through slits in the curtains terrified. I was that much of a shut-in, I was that terrified of the outside world!
When I would go outside, to go to the grocery store or to a restaurant with either my mom or my husband I felt like I was watching myself from the outside, I didn't really feel part of the world. Kind of like taking NyQuil and not sleeping, just wandering around in a fog, always in a hurry to be back into the world I knew, the world inside my little mobile home with just myself and my daughter.
I often wonder what would have happened if I had stayed home to be a full-time wife and mother. Would I have become an agoraphobic? Would I have eventually refused to come outside at all, to be a part of the outside world? What would have happened to my daughter, growing up with a mom that refused to leave the safety of her home?
Fortunately for me when my daughter turned two I was offered a good job by a lady that had employed me in the past and my world opened up again. I met the people at the daycare center Penny Lane Preschool where I left my daughter each morning. I made friends with other mothers, I made friends with the ladies at my new job and I became acclimated to the outside world again.
When I became pregnant with my son four years later I was worried that I would go through that shut-in phase again, but that didn't happen as I still had to be a part of my daughters outside world. Had to attend school events and walk her to the bus stop, but it still scares me just a little bit how much I love being home and alone in my own little world, reading, watching TV, blogging. I worry about retiring and wonder if in my retirement maybe I'll become a shut-in? One never knows, but it's so easy to fall into it.
This post was inspired by the novel If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie,about a boy who's never been outside, thanks to his mother's agoraphobia, but ventures outside in order to solve a mystery. Join From Left to Write on January 22nd as we discuss If I Fall, If I Die. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.