Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's so obvious to say, but becoming a parent changed everything for me. Having a child, raising one, this is not merely a lifestyle choice; it's a paradigm shift. Everything is radically different from this side of life. I can't even watch movies or TV the same anymore. Naturally, I suppose, I see now everything with the eyes of a parent. For instance, when I watch a movie like Juno, my viewpoint kind of spoils it for me. The quirkiness and cool soundtrack have little effect; the what-ifs of teen pregnancy terrify me. Birth control in Rosemary's sippy cup seems surely reasonable.

CBC now has all their shows online to watch. For free! I love CBC television: Doc Zone, The Passionate Eye, Marketplace, The Nature of Things. We don't have cable, as I may have mentioned, but don't worry. This fact doesn't make us better than you out there with subscriptions. We're just cheaper.

Anyway, I am thrilled I can watch The Rick Mercer Report any time I want to. Some of these shows, especially the documentaries, are upsetting me, though. 65_RedRoses, a documentary about a girl with cystic fibrosis, makes my chest contract with fear. What if? What if? What if? Watching it makes me so thankful for my healthy children, I could weep.

Then there's The Miracle of the Hudson Plane Crash. Late Thursday night -- well, it was 9:30, but that's late for me -- I rashly decided no more planes rides for us after this gripping show. Imagine me stuck on the wing of a plane in the freezing, frozen North Saskatchewan River with a toddler and a baby clinging to me waiting for rescue. Good god. How much is a train ticket to Edmonton?

The newspaper makes me feel no better. I read a review today of Lovely Bones, book and recent movie, with a horrific plot. A little girl never comes home to her family, having been raped and murdered. Well, I can't even go there. There are no what-ifs, no pretend scenarios for me at night for this one. My brain has the ego structure, I guess, to stop any such soul-destroying imaginings.

All this lately does make me wonder, though, how the hell are we, Dylan and I, going to get through this whole raising children deal without turning into absolute freaks. Some children don't make it. Some children have terrible things happen to them. Some parents have to live with loss and sadness. I know this. Intellectually, I KNOW this, but my heart fears it. Bizarre twists of fate, strange accidents, unfortunate "wrong place at the wrong time" events are all possibilities.

I really don't want to be run by fear, though. I want my children to be free from fear, truly. I honestly believe if I worry about every little thing that might harm, maim, strike them down too soon, steal them away from my arms, Finn and Rosemary will not be any safer children.

They will just be kids with a fearful, freaky mom, and that in turn will make them fearful, freaky children.

Oh, and apparently, I am spreading this anxiety CBC documentaries seem to induce. Sorry Ada!


Jenni said...

I've suffered with anxiety most of my life, so I completely sympathize with you. It can be hard to push those kinds of thoughts aside.

Jenn said...

I guess it's all a part of being a parent. Deep breath in, deep breath out.

Ada Saab said...

It's hard for me, too. I used to be addicted to certain podcasts where you were instructed on how to survive a car falling into a lake, a house on fire, a bear attack - then I would add the fact that I was also responsible for two other young humans. Anxiety!

I'm still like. I don't know why I'm using the past tense.

Life marches on though.

However, what you wrote is something I think about everyday. The fact remains that we will know a few people in our lives that will go through horrific loss in terms of their children. Will we be those people? It's all just a matter of odds.

I'm going to go listen to Wiebo Ludwig and concentrate on a few others things I can't control...