I really need to learn to stop clicking on different blog rolls as I toodle around the blogsphere. I really need to. This issue is that there is a lot of cross-references in the blog world between infertility and loss, whether it be infant or pregnancy. It really is the nature of the beast I suppose. All three engender a loss of some sort. Infertility robs one of the dream of having children, pregnancy loss takes the hopefully realized dream of children and pulls out the rug, and infant loss, well, that's something that I can't even begin to fathom. How people survive it amazes me.
I came across one of those blogs today-a mom who had lost her son after a failed heart transplant. There were pictures of what looked like a happy little boy. She wrote very matter of factly, but the raw, unadulterated pain was still there. I could feel it seeping in, threatening to make me cry in that moment, causing me to wish to God that there was a way to reverse it all.
I was watching Miami I*nk last night, and one of the stories was about a dad who, after saying goodbye to his son, and who thought was clear of any danger, accidentally killed him as he left their driveway.
Why does this happen? Why are we given these gifts and then have to deal with the pain of having them ripped away? Before I had Son, I would still be sad when I came across these stories, but they wouldn't stay with me. Wouldn't make me want to run to daycare and grab Son and never let him go. I ended up trying to feed Son last night while sobbing at the very thought of what this man went through, and what he will go through for the rest of his life.
These things scare me so much. Who is to say that something won't happen to my blonde baby? Other than locking him up and putting him in a bubble, can I ever be sure that he is always going to be safe? How do I let go of this fear to let him live? I remember that as kindergartner, I would walk home over the lunch break to have lunch at home with my Mom, who was on maternity leave with my brother. The sum total was about three blocks. In this day and age, I don't think that I would be able to let Son out of my sight for that long. I just can't seem to trust that everything will be OK. How do I teach Son to take risks, be independent, when all I want to do is protect him? I'm worried about being that mother. I don't want it for him, but I find myself being so scared sometimes.
It is this near-paralyzing fear that makes me insistent that we find an alternative to our current housing situation. I just don't want to ever be that far away from him, with locks and gates being the only thing to protect him. He's just too damn little. For once, I'm going to have to insist, something I have never been able to get myself to do in all of the years that we have been married. Husband can be a force of nature. I just can't shake this concern that runs through my very core. I don't want my fear to paralyze Son, but I still want him to think before he makes choices. I want him to find a happy medium between my caution and his father's lack thereof. Husband thinks that he's bullet-proof. I can't convince him otherwise, and I get so full of anxiety and fear and powerlessness that I can barely breathe. This whole house debate has become a primary source of this anxiety.
We were visiting my grandfather this weekend. He hasn't seen Son since he was around a month old, so we thought it was time. He's in his mid-80s, but still lives by himself. He was watching Son play, and he said something about the fear that he had about the kind of world that Son will eventually live in. Looking around us, the world isn't moving in a more civilized, enlightened way. We're rapidly devolving, and instead of spears and clubs, we can wipe out all of humankind in one fell swoop. The Star Trekkian ideal is one that I honestly don't think that humans are capable of. We've experienced tragedies on grand scales, and for a while it always looks like we can be better for it, that we've learned something from it. For one generation it was Pearl Harbor/WWII. For my generation it will be 9/11. And what have we done with it? Invaded two countries (coalition or not, it's still an invasion), destabilized them even more than they already were, destroyed their infrastructure and maligned their culture and religion to the point of becoming mortal enemies. These people hate us. Rational or not, this is something that my Son will have to live with in his world. Families are separated for a year or more at a time, and separating them permanently at an alarming rate. I actually met the mother of the first Minnesotan to die in Iraq. She did the closing for when we bought our most recent car. I can't imagine how she got through each day. Her son wasn't a Guardsman, he was regular Army. However, how do you say goodbye to your living, breathing, 20something year old Son one day, and greet him coming home in a box. How?
So, all in all, I find myself being scared of what my Son will face. What my new child will face. How to make them safe and happy. And how to not go insane with worry. What can I do to make sure that they won't have to live in an insane world? I worry about my blonde boy, whose only concern right now is that he makes sure that all of his trucks and tractors are lined up on the coffee table. I worry about this yet to be seen child, and hope that I can maintain some sense of innocence, for even a small period of time.