The first few months after Clara was born, I'd be out on a walk with her in the stroller, and I felt nearly convinced that some random person on the street was going to approach me, shove me down, and run off, stealing her away from me. This feeling was a constant gnawing in my craw.
I was surprised when my sister Alicia asked me, after returning from a stroll around the block with Clara, "do you ever feel like someone is going to try to steal her away?"
"Yes!" I said. "I feel that all the time."
"It's like I kept looking at each passer-by as a potential baby-stealer," she said.
"I know," I said. "Exactly."
Today I noticed that I don't feel that way while walking with Diego in the stroller. It must be because I've gotten used to having a baby -- he being my second. I almost miss the feeling -- it belies a particular kind of new parent awe: how in the world was I granted the right to be this child's -- any child's -- mother?