Friday, September 22, 2006

tragedies and anxieties

A little girl whose family lives down the road from here was killed in a terrible accident this week. Her mother hit her with the car backing out of their driveway. She lived nearly 24 hours but died on Tuesday. She was two years old. I didn't know the family except from noticing them as we would drive past their house. They have a big yard full of plastic toddler toys and there are always several kids running around and several cars visiting. The family seems chaotic and wild and I've made bitchy comments daily about the kids playing too close to the road.

I can't imagine what that mother is dealing with right now. It makes me sick to imagine, but I keep imagining- over and over. Since I lost my mom I have this ugly manifestation of my anxiety that makes me obsessively imagine terrible things happenning. When Shane was travelling at his old job, I would have visions of his being killed in a car crash. I had visions of being widowed immediately after the wedding. Dark, frightening things seem to insinuate themselves into my thoughts the moment I feel happy and lightened. It's like I got programmed to expect a tragedy when things are good. The baby, of course, is working my scary imagination overtime... I have times when I'm filled with dread that I won't get to keep her, that she'll have an accident and I'll lose her, that she's too good to be true. It's almost like I think I don't deserve her. That's such a sad thing- why would I feel like this? It's tense writing about this feeling- I feel superstitiously like admitting the worries will call the universe's attention to them and create them. Do all new moms feel these unfounded terrors?

The accident amplified these worries for me. I couldn't stop crying when I read in the paper that she had died. I just grieve for the family. In the same edition of the newspaper I saw a reference to a local man who murdered and raped his girlfriend's son. I think his mother is going to prison too, for some kind of neglect or responsibility for his death. We know the girl's cousin, and she has been very active in trying to get legislation passed in Logan's name to ensure longer sentences in such cases. It didn't pass in the last session of the state legislature, but I'm sure they plan to keep working.

How do we raise children in this world without losing our minds worrying? I want to take her and Shane and run away to a commune somewhere where there is no TV, food additives, pollution... I could go on but no such Utopia exists. I can tell from the first four months as a parent that this is my great challenge: I have to look out for her the best way I know how without letting my fears turn both of us into neurotic, timid crazy people. This is why the Wonderful Taoist Nature of Fate has brought me my husband. He anchors me, he is my counter balance. If we can find a blend of our parenting styles, this will be one well-adjusted happy kid. I'm learning to pick my battles, as it were. Allowing organic meats in the future, for example. But only when Daddy feeds her. I still refuse to prepare meat, and if my vegetarian example influences her eating habits, so be it.

No comments:

Post a Comment