Tuesday night I sat on my bed, on top of the covers, drinking a beer that didn’t even taste good. All I could think about was how crazy the world is and all my husband could think about was how crazy I am. He doesn’t understand why I watch the news and I don’t understand why he ignores it. I tried to explain to him that I didn’t exactly see all these stories on the news today, it was Facebook, come on. Regardless, my mind ran wild and there was no stopping it. There’s people killing cops, and cops killing people, and black people killing white people, and white people killing black people, and what if Hillary wins the presidency? And what if Trump does? And so now I’m officially scared and now it’s 3 AM.
I went into my little babe’s room and I prayed the prayer I always pray over him, and in that prayer I beg with my whole heart for God to keep him safe and healthy. Well tonight as I thought about the fact that in five years I’m not going to be allowed to sit in kindergarten class with my son to protect him from the monsters, I got even more scared. People are just plain crazy these days, even 5 year olds.
The world is scary, and sometimes being Finn’s mom is scary. He scares me when he picks up a knife off of the table at Applebee’s before I can blink; he scares me when he chokes on a teething wafer in Target; he scares me when there’s a tiny speck on his face for an unknown reason. He scares me every single night, because I guess I’m just a slow learner. Every night I vow to do that whole cry-it-out thing for more than 20 minutes, but every night I feel like it surely constitutes as abuse, and when Finn is 12 he’s going to resent me for neglecting him. Or maybe at 12 he will only hope for me to neglect him, but a girl can dream. So every night I jump in bed, determined to let him cry, because that’s what the doctors and the smart moms suggest. I always lose. I hear him screaming over the monitor, and I lay there and cross my fingers hoping he will stop soon. As sure as I start to feel like tonight is the night I’m strong enough (or lazy enough) to do this, he lets out this terrifying screech so dramatic that I’m certain he’s near death. So I leap out of bed, usually tripping over the dog, and I scoop up his tear soaked body to inspect his well-being, and tomorrow night I’ll repeat. Tomorrow night he will trick me again and scare me again and I’ll snuggle him all over again.
All of these moments of fear are minor, at least I think, but that knife grabbing thing has really got to stop. On a night like this night, though, there’s an entire ocean of deeper fears rushing around in my brain. The fears that I refuse to even write about, but that every parent has, and the fears of raising a son in what seems like an impossibly difficult world. When the whole wide world seems to be spinning out of control, and you’re a new mom who has lost the ability to see straight at times, all those fears can come together and make you feel like you just want to hide in a closet and bubble wrap your child and never let him out of your site. But that’d be weird.
So 4 hours into my sleeps, I woke up with a pounding head and droopy eyes and got dressed for Bible study. Side note: last week I dropped Finn off at the nursery there for the first time and I sort of had a panic attack, so shout out to the sweet girl who was rocking him to sleep when I picked him up. Turns out I’m not the only person in the world who can adequately care for Finn. Anyways, I sat in Bible study, and this:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
So I’m just going to leave that there.
If I’m being totally honest, I don’t know how exactly to live a life like this when everywhere we turn there are things tempting us to be afraid, but I think I’m going to try my hardest. I think I’m going to NOT sit on my bed, and stare into space for hours, and let the world make me afraid tonight.
I think if I did that again tonight my husband would send me to the mental ward.
More importantly, I think Finn doesn’t need a mama who lives in fear.
I think Finn needs to see a lot of things from his mama throughout his life, but fear is not one of them.