Thursday, September 20, 2012


Thanks for humoring my latest semi-regular freak-out about MY CHILDREN and LIFE and HOW WILL WE EVER SURVIVE?? Pretty sure that these episodes of mine track pretty well with a build-up of work stress and hormones, and things always look much sunnier after a couple of days and a good night of sleep. But thanks to all for your words of encouragement and empathy, they are very much appreciated.

I have come to the conclusion, however, that having kids is like birthing pieces of your heart on legs, that just walk around all naked (hopefully figuratively, most of the time) and beating and exposed - way more fragile than the one still in your body. I am constantly on the alert, thinking "how will these two little hearts get hurt?" Not WILL they, but HOW WILL they. Because it seems inevitable, as a parent, that something bad will happen. I can look on the bright side for myself, focus on the positives, laugh off imaginary potential dangers. But it is so much harder to let go of the fear when it comes to my children. It's a constant struggle between wanting them to be happy and wanting to tether them, encased in bubble wrap, to my body.

I see danger everywhere. Two hours of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention training last week? Gah! Torture! Before kids, I probably would have joked about my past irresponsibility with alcohol, or my fortune at having a liver transplant surgeon as a dad. Now, I think about all the drunk drivers out there, and the awful, awful accidents they cause, and I want to make us a family of shut-ins. All I can see are images of their little bodies wrapped around trees, mangled. Three hours of Suicide Prevention training (can you tell I work for the Government?), and all I can think of as I sit through it is my kids, horrified at the thought that one day they might feel so awful that suicide feels like the only solution.

I'm not consumed with worry over my kids, but the thoughts are there, they come to my mind readily. I know intellectually that many of these dangers are still pretty far off. But SCHOOL. Now that is a danger that is here, already. I think I get a little anxious about how Finn is adjusting to school because there is such a high potential for unhappiness at school. For the heart (his, mine) to get bruised, or worse. Bullying starts so young, so, so young.

So I watch, eagle-eyed and, to mix metaphors, ready to get all "Mama Bear" if I need to. But I don't, I don't. Not yet, hopefully not ever.

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