Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Worrying Like a Mommy

Big Cuter's work is taking him to Vienna tomorrow.

Vienna is in Europe.  IS is bombing metro stations and airports and hotels catering to tourists in Europe.

But those two sentences together, and you can see why I am worrying like a mommy.  My big boy is going to a continent that has fewer good guys with guns (as if I believed that would keep him safe) and fewer police concentrating on stopping random acts of terror (as if I believed that would keep him safe) and less sharing of information between the entities responsible for the safety of the general population (as if I believed that would keep him safe).

He'll be surrounded by a group of young, well-groomed, American law stude nts who, I hope, will be smart enough not to advertise their country of origin by wearing logo t-shirts and caps as they compete and carouse.  During our involvement in  Viet Nam, I was encouraged to be Canadian as I left JFK for Amsterdam.  I wish there were a similarly easy way to insulate him from violence as we engage radical Islamic terrorism (thanks, Ted Cruz, for telling me exactly who they are).

Last night, my boy agreed to be vigilant.  He agreed to let me worry.  He told me he loved me.  I don't suppose I can ask for more.

But I'm still stuck.  What kind of a world am I leaving for FlapJilly and her generation?  Will they ever be carefree?  Will they shout their allegiances from the rooftops without worrying about reprisals?  Will hate speech be part and parcel of her public life, or will kindness prevail?

We are all in this together.  Mark Kelly and Americans for Responsible Solutions send me emails every day, reminding me of victories achieved and asking for funds to further the cause.  Planned Parenthood and Emily's List and Arizona List all have agendas which require money. Ann Kirkpatrick tells me that she is in a neck and neck race to replace John McCain... and she needs my help.  Victoria Steele would like to replace Martha McSally.... with my help.

There's only so much money to go around.  There is only so much time I can devote to ranting and raving, to making phone calls, to writing political screeds, to haranguing my friends.  There's a life to be lived, friends to be visited, granddaughters to love.  I can't spend my life worrying about what's wrong and how to fix it.... yet if I don't, who will?

Am I in overload mode?  Is the weight of the world on my shoulders?  The level of vitriol and violence in our world today is terrifying in a much more personal sense than it was when I was The Cuters' age.  I didn't worry about going out to a movie or to a rally or a parade; I was in America and I was safe.

That was, of course, before 9/11, before I was perforated  As Big Cuter pointed out, my worrying about his travelling to Europe has a bit of absurdity attached to its loving tails; my life was changed at a grocery store on a sunny, Saturday morning.  Avoiding danger has become impractical if not impossible.

And so, I send my first born off into the world with love and best wishes and a gunny sack of fear on my back. I don't know why I'll breathe easier when he's back in San Francisco.  I just know that I will.


  1. I worry too for my children, but I resolved a few months ago to not try and change the world, but to change my part of the world. I'm doing this by making sure that my children are loving, kind and compassionate to others. I give where I can too. Many of the groups you had on your list, I have on mine too (except for the Arizona ones). If I can try and make my little part of the world a better place and others do the same, then maybe the world will be a better place.

    You do have every right to worry, but fear is what IS thrives on. Be vigilant, but not fearful.

    Sending massive hugs!

    Megan xxx

  2. I got through this fear regularly because my son is in a job that requires travel to Spain a couple times a year. I always worry, wish he didn't have to do it, but he goes again in May and yes, a mama worries. Now it's the airports and just hoping they are extra vigilant. I guess though Brussels airport has been a concern for awhile that they weren't taking the measures they should. At least I always hope that taking the measures will protect the innocents from those with no heart :(

  3. It's good that your son gave you permission to worry. Too often we hear "I don't want you to worry". Like that is possible.
    On the other hand, you need to sit down and make a list of all the good things that could happen to balance out the worry.

  4. We're in Paris. I called the hotel before getting on the plane and was told, everything is fine. Don't worry, come be happy. Of course it has rained every damned day since we got here. We're all soft targets, we just have to live and hope that it's not our turn for fate being the hunter.


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