The catch-breath. That’s what I call it.
The first time I remember it happening is when they placed my daughter in my arms for the first time. It was a physical pause caused by emotional intensity inside me. It literally took my breath for a nanosecond. Maybe it’s exactly what the romantics are referring to when they describe moments that take one’s breath away, but I don’t remember feeling this phenomenon before her. Now I experience it multiple times per week, sometimes just upon thinking about her. My admiration for her and all I want for her bring my emotions so close to the surface that I have a physical reaction to them. It’s usually a catch-breath.
One day not that long ago, we went to a park for her to play, and as she strode toward the chaos of other kids playing, it happened. My breath was robbed from me, and I had to pause to consider why it had happened then and there. I realized I was concerned for her, but not that she might fall or hurt herself. I was feeling protective of her heart. As a mom and an over-thinker, I had already played out hypothetical scenarios in my mind where my daughter would get upset, show her intensity, and scare people away. I let fear win. As embarrassing as it is, my very next thought was the realization that I was projecting my own insecurity onto her. How disgusting.