CRYSTAL CLEAR: Society's ills give mom the blues
August 13, 2009
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- For the past several weeks, I've been in a funk that I've been unable to shake. Though my blues haven't been of the crying-all-time magnitude, the slightest thing is enough to bring me down.
Action movies depress me ("It's so sad that he got shot!") and seeing a closed business on the side of the road will occupy my thoughts the entire week ("If only I bought more from that store, it would still be open!")
Nothing in my life had changed - work was actually a little less busy than usual, and things with the family were going great. But last night, it dawned on me that I was sad because I was happy.
I know it seems like I'm not making sense, but stay with me on this.
I never imagined what it would be like to have a child, and frankly, I was unsure of what type of mother I would be, or if I would like being a mother at all. But now, I can't imagine what life would be like without my son. At the risk of sounding like a stereotypical, yet delusional, mom, my baby is perfect.
Whether he is peacefully sleeping or spitting sweet potato puree in my face - he is perfect. And it makes me sad that my perfect little boy will grow up in an imperfect world.
Every time I pass a business with a "going out of business" sign, I wonder what type of economy he will grow up in. I pray that nothing happens to my, or my husband's, job and that we will be able to care for him and provide him everything he needs.
When I watch an action movie, I wonder how we will be able to protect him. Will he still have the same sweet smile he has now when he grows up' Will that smile that I love so much make him a target for people looking to take advantage of some nice, yet naive, person'
And don't get me started on the news. How can I protect him from things such as racism' Will my husband and I have to give him "the talk'" Not the "bird and the bees," but what to do when you are stopped by a police officer, even if you've done nothing wrong.
And what about the other dangers out there' How can we protect him from gangs, shootings and drunken drivers. What if, God forbid, he is the gang member or drunken driver'
All these questions, none of which I can answer, linger in my mind as I kiss his cheeks before bed. Already, I wonder what he will be like as a teen, even though he is still months away from his first birthday. And even now, as I write this, I look at the pictures of him in my office and marvel at how much he's already grown up.
I know it's silly that I'm already thinking about the type of adult my son will be 17 1/2 years from now. I also know that it is irrational for me to think I can protect him from everything.
But when he pops his head up when I enter the room in the morning and greets me with a smile, or laughs in his sleep, all I can think about is the warm feeling it gives me.
And it scares me to think that one day, that feeling will be gone.