Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Parental Freak Out, Take One

I am 2 days shy of being halfway through my first pregnancy, and although I have had most of the normal pregnancy symptoms, I have not really experienced the emotional roller coaster I was expecting.  Tonight, however, I had my very first major meltdown.  Naturally, it had to happen while my husband is about 4,000 miles away in Luxembourg...and fast asleep since it's the middle of the night there.

I was doing fine all day, but then I happened to hop on Facebook, where I saw a news article a friend had posted.  I have decided not to say what the article was about, mainly because right now there is nothing I would love more than to be able to un-see it.  Suffice it to say that it was an article about something that happened to a child.

I did not get through more than the headline and the first paragraph before I had to stop reading.  I started sobbing - and I mean really sobbing - so hard that I could hardly breathe.  Because our beagle Stella is useless in such situations, I ran downstairs and called Oliver, our German Shepherd and Chow Chow mix, in from the backyard.  He sat stoically beside me, occasionally licking the tears off my face, occasionally offering up his back to be scratched, while I just cried and cried.  

I think what really got me about the story was that it wasn't some kind of physical harm that came to the child, but something that someone did that scared and upset her.  It just made me realize that no matter how hard I try as a parent, I just can't expect to be able to protect my child.  I am not one of those parents (or soon-to-be parents) who thinks that protecting a child from absolutely EVERYTHING is a good idea.  I know that disappointment and conflict can be learning tools, and they help to build character.  But I just don't know how I can protect my child from the kinds of cruel treatment that this world has to offer.  And I am so scared.

Even as I write this, I still cannot stop crying, and I just wish so badly I could forget about what I read.  I know that in a couple days, my husband and I will be going to the doctor's to find out if we're having a boy or a girl, and then my sister is coming, and I will be busy shopping for clothes and finishing our registry.  But right now, my heart just aches, and I cannot get it out of my head.

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