So, John Travolta's son just died. CNN's IReport asked for personal stories and words of hope for the Travoltas and oh my lordy, can you say tears at work?!
Car accidents, drowning, suicide, murder; no matter the method, the pain was there.
Parenting is such a daunting task already in the fact that if you fuck up, you ruin a life. Gee, no pressure. Add into the mix that you're not just aiming to raise said child into adulthood, but guide them into becoming well-rounded, wonderful members of society. Add into that there are events over which you have NO control which will affect said child, possibly doing them harm and my little control freak brain nearly explodes...
This means I am currently worried about any or all of the following: Seizures, violent allergic reactions, car accidents, the pool gate left open, rabid beasts, zombies, nice old neighbors who turn out to be pedophiles, escalators, drive-by shootings, ax-wielding maniacs, heavy machinary, house fires, cancer, dehydration, rampaging tigers etc.
Jeez, no wonder I'm so tired by the end of the day.
That said, I don't let these worries paralyze me and I'm certainly not an overprotective mother (eating dirt won't hurt her, she'll find out soon enough it doesn't taste good...) but it's scary all the same. The feeling of helplessness in the face of so many things that could go wrong for a person I've been put on this earth to raise and protect, simply not fair.
And THEN I think about all the stupid shit I've done, like natural diasters such as tornadoes and zombies don't endanger us enough.
7 years ago... "Snorting pain killers while rolling isn't that bad, is it?" (For the record folks, bad idea.)
Take your pick of years ago... "Wellll, I don't have a condom, do you?"
5 years ago... "Let's eat these mushrooms, grab the Jack and go swimming!"
8 years ago..."We gonna play chicken, bitch."
I find it likely that at some point in Lo's life, there will be a moment in which her life hangs in the balance. I think all of us have been in a situation like this, the blessing is that we don't always know it.
EXAMPLE: A classmate was once involved in a really bad car accident. The car flipped, smashed into a tree, caught fire, the works. Everybody walked away relatively ok and when the fire dept. arrived, the classmate was told that if he hadn't have just filled up his gas tank, the car would've exploded rather than burned.
That small, everyday decision of filling up his tank may have saved his life.
As Lo gets older, I know I'll worry more and more. The curse of parenthood. My sympathies to the Travoltas.