This parenting thing is pretty scary. I’m not referring to the scary you feel after watching a creepy movie or the fear you might have when being stuck on an elevator. This parenting scary feeling is pretty much terrifying at times. A fragile human life is in your hands — at all times. It’s basically like juggling eggs with absolutely no idea how to juggle. You drop one and you’re fucked.
My daughter is scared of the dark. We leave her Frozen lamp on all night so that she feels safe with Anna and Elsa keeping her room dimly lit. She started to have this fear sometime after she turned 3; she is 4 now. I always assure her she is safe and that there is nothing to be scared of. Yet, every time I tell her this, I think about all the things that scare me. I almost feel like a hypocrite. Because the truth is she should be scared. This world is c-r-a-z-y! Most days I am scared. Of something. I have stopped watching the news because it was making me nuts. I like to be informed… but some things are best to be left unknown.
From the day I brought her home from the hospital, there were things to fear. You take home this precious little baby that you carried safe in your tummy for almost a year and expose her to these elements we call life. You feel like the world stops because you are so in love with this gift from God. But, the outside world doesn’t stop. Your inside world does, though. For a short while anyway. You do everything in your power to keep this beautiful blessing out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, the fears are always there. Things that you may not have control over. The fear of SIDS as a newborn; the fear of vaccines and their potential side effects; the fear of when she climbs the stairs on her own (always shouting — “hold the rail”); the fear of her breaking a bone on the playscape; or ingesting something she shouldn’t; and so on and so on.
It’s scary. All. Of. It. Of course it doesn’t get any better once she gets older. The fears just change with time. And they are never trivial. They are always something freaky you hear about in the news (some horrible disaster or accident) or the fear you have after watching a Lifetime movie. Did that high school boy really impregnate two girls at the same time? Damn you, Lifetime. Some stories are best left untold.
With social media prevalent in the youth — it is yet one more thing to fear for our children. Will she get cyber-bullied? Will she attract an online predator? Do I give her a cell phone? At what age? Will she sext her boyfriend or some boy at school she has a crush on? Gulp.
I am scared.
I will be scared when she starts driving. I will be scared when she wants to travel anywhere. Because traveling by any form is dangerous. I will be scared when she goes on her first date. I will be scared when she wants to walk home from school (if I will even let her). I will be scared when she says she wants to go away for college.
I will be scared.
And, yes, past generations had all these same fears but we have some new ones. All that involve technology. It’s scary. I have no choice but to suck it up and do and hope for the best. All I can do is teach her right from wrong, to tell her to always trust her intuition, and to be a good person and friend. Those things I have control over. Values and morals I can teach her. What I can’t teach her about…
The world. That’s a different story. It’s always uncertain. And that is scary.