I admit I have had complete writer’s block. Since last Friday I haven’t able to think of anything funny, let alone write anything funny. I, like everyone else in the world, have had a hand over my mouth and tears in my eyes every time I read a newspaper or watch the news.
I have always prided myself as being a pretty lax mother. I am a glass half full person whose mind rarely goes to the worst case scenario. I have even judged overprotective parenting as uptight and not good for the kids. I get it though. Some parents’ minds go to those scary scenarios.
When 9/11 happened, I was living in New York, and had one child. Before 9/11, I loved taking him into the city. We would go to Central Park, have lunch, and he was young enough to not complain if we went shopping. We made great memories from those outings. After 9/11, I was scared. Scared to drive in by myself, scared to be on the subway, scared that a suicide bomber could just come in and blow up a store.
Time passed, and I started going in. Stopped letting my mind “go there.”
Flying as a parent after 9/11 also became scarier. I didn’t want to fly without my child and I looked around at everyone on my flight with suspicion. Even as recently as two years ago, I was scared to fly with just my husband and daughter to see the boys at camp. I changed my will the day before, and the nice man painting my house served as a witness. I am better now, have flown without the kids, and try, with the help of those miniature airplane bottles, to not let my mind “go there” that much.
When the Colorado movie massacre occurred this summer, I was happy my kids were away at camp and hopefully hadn’t heard about it. I, on the other hand, did not go to the movies for a few weeks. I admit, I was scared. Scared of a copycat killer. I still get scared if I see a man alone in the movies. My mind “goes there.” But I go to the movies.
And now, with the Sandy Hook tragedy, I am finding it much more difficult to hold on to my lax attitude. But the thing is, I want to. I don’t want my mind to “go there”. I fight as a mother to not let it go there. We have to. As mothers, we have to keep our kids safe, but also give them a kiss and a hug, and let them go to school, enjoy a movie, appreciate a flight to a new place and adventure.
I have my moments when my mind goes dark and I think the worst. We all do. I just have talks with myself every now and then. “Do your best not to “go there” .