I've only left Sabine with someone other than Kadin a handful of times. And when I have left her with one of my sisters or her grandmother, I'm gone under two hours or she's asleep.
Everyone thinks I'm crazy. They say I need a break or that it's good for her, too. If Sabine is safely tucked into her bed for the night, I'm okay. Otherwise, I have to drink lots of wine in order to prevent myself from running home to be with her and see that she's okay with my own two eyeballs.
I'm sure my Sabine micromanagement tendencies make our family and friends feel like I think they're incompetent or like I don't trust them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It's not them, it's me. I'm a freak. I couldn't put my finger on why, but on Saturday night I lay awake thinking about it for hours.
It has to do with my mother's death. She was perfectly healthy one day, and the next, she had stomach cancer that had spread to her liver and was so far gone the doctors said she wouldn't live another year. I didn't believe them. I didn't know a world without her in it and I'd seen too many movies where sick people make heroic turnarounds. I thought that if anyone deserved a miracle, it was her. She believed in a god that I've never been able to feel. Couldn't and wouldn't that god spare someone who was so faithful, so good, so generous and still so loved and needed by her family? Unlike myself, who is somewhat resigned, my mother actually made the world a better place.
My time with her was cut short. She never met my husband or her granddaughter. I remember sitting at a San Francisco restaurant with her half way through her illness--my whole family was there--and she was more silent than she'd ever been. She kept looking around the table at each of our faces with tears streaming down her face. When she finally spoke, she said, "I can't leave you. I don't want to leave. I want to hold your babies."
This is why I cannot leave my little Sabine: I have no idea how much time I have with her. My mother's death taught me that anything--even the worst sort of thing--can happen to bad and wonderful people alike. Life is short. It flies like lightening and before you know it, you're moving on despite your will to remain with the people you love.
I'm constantly and painfully aware of each and every single one of my moments with Sabine, before she goes to school, before she falls in love or finds a best friend, before she gets married and travels the world, before she's a mother--or before one of our lives ends. Nobody has told me exactly how many of these moments we have together--cuddling, laughing, exploring, crying, falling, feeling frustrated--so I'm taking all of them, good and bad. I'm soaking in and drinking up as many as I possibly can before they're gone. Because that day, just like every other day, is going to come.