Yesterday was the first time in the last four and a half months that I realized Clara needs me...
When I was home with Clara, constant questions about my parenting ate up what felt like every moment of my day; Is she stimulated enough? Is she over-stiumlated? Does she feel too cold? Does she feel too hot? Should I let her watch tv? Should I let her watch TV, but only if it's educational?
And then, when Tracy started watching her it was: Is Tracy loving her enough? Does Clara think I hate her because I'm not the only one loving her each day? Does Tracy rock her the way I do before her naps? Does Tracy rock her at all?
But yesterday all those questions finally came crashing to an end and there was peace. It was the peace I've been longing for...for so long now. It was the peace I've been praying about.
Dave stayed home alone with Clara yesterday evening. I left around 6:15. At 8:30 I noticed my phone had a ton of missed calls and text messages. I only needed to see one.
Please come home now. Please.
I rushed to my car as fast as I could. I called Dave as soon as I reached the car and when he answered my worst fears were answered. Clara was crying and had been for over an hour.Not just crying. The type of crying that actually sounds like screaming and I could hear her. It broke my heart. He had tried everything. Absolutely everything. He just kept saying. "Amber, Clara needs you. I don't know what to do. Clara needs you. Please hurry."
As soon as I opened the door to our house I heard her even more clearly. She could hardly even catch her breath between the screams. I ran to her. Dave handed her to me and almost instantly...
She just snuggled into my shoulder and closed her eyes. It was the most precious moment I have felt with my daughter yet. And, as much as she needed me in that moment, I realized how much I needed her. I needed to know she needed me, despite all the mistakes I may have made and have yet to make, despite the fact that I leave her 5 days a week because it is best for her and for our family right now, despite the fact that for all these months I couldn't tell if anything I was doing even mattered to her. I needed to know she needed me.
Now I know for sure....not only does Clara love me...Clara needs me.