Do you want to know what happens when it rains for 13 days in September and 12 days, so far in October, with rain predicted for seven of the eight remaining days? I start to get a little depressed. That’s 32 days. Thirty-two out of a possible 61 days. That’s more than A MONTH OF RAIN. And that doesn’t count the days that were just cloudy without rain, but also without sun. I think I’ve seen the sun exactly five times this month. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. Maybe it was six times. And like most people, I am affected by not seeing the sun, and I get a little depressed. Because IT’S DEPRESSING to see this never-ending. Interminable. Ceaseless. Fecking rain. This is why I don’t live in Seattle! I need some melatonin people!
So I’ll blame it on the rain — you know, Milli Vanilli style (side note — did you know that “Blame it on the Rain” was written by the unbelievably talented Diane Warren? How the H did she ever get hooked up with Milli Vanilli??). Anyway, I think this rain, combined with my irrational pregnancy hormones, is making me overly emotional when I hear or read about bad things that happen to kids. I’ve always been a very empathetic person, but lately when I hear about this stuff I get SO SAD, and it affects me! I think about it for a long time. And not always real-life things. Things I see in TV dramas, like a 15-year-old homeless girl with a critically ill two-year old, or the mom who dies from a hospital mistake, leaving her little boy. But also the things that happen in real life. Like the Oprah episode I DVRed about Jaycee Dugard who was kidnapped by a convicted sex offender and held for 18 years. Or the latest of what seems to be a never-ending saga of murdered children in Florida, Somer Thomson. What IS it with Florida? And it’s not even just kidnapping. It’s abuse, or childhood cancer, or choking on food, or being born prematurely, or suffering severe complications from the flu! These things happen to people. Some of them have happened to people I know.
These terrible things, real or fictional, can make you crazy. Because as much as we protect ourselves by thinking, “That won’t happen to me,” that’s what Jaycee Dugard’s mom thought, and that’s what Somer Thomson’s mom thought. And when you actually allow your mind to go there, it’s unbelievably depressing. As a mother, it’s horrifying to realize that no matter how careful you are, or how good of a parent you are, you cannot protect your child from everything. That’s a horrible feeling!
Because as the parent, your Number One job is to protect your child. You can be SO careful, and yet your child could be kidnapped from her bedroom, like Elizabeth Smart. And you can’t prevent your child from getting cancer. And you also can’t be an overprotective, smothering hover parent who raises her child to be afraid of the world. So what do you do?
What do you do with those fears? I guess in the light of (another gloomy) day, I decided that the only thing you can do is acknowledge those fears, acknowledge that they may be possibilities, try to do everything you possibly can to prevent them, and pray that they don’t happen to you. And pray for the people that they did happen to. And maybe get a little light therapy?? Where can I do that …
But seriously, what do you moms do?