This post is not about Nugget’s fear. She’s thus far demonstrated so very few of them, and she pretty much charges at things head-on. Heck, Halloween was something she loved because she thought all of the scary stuff was super awesome. Instead, this post is about my fears, and how I’m hoping to meet them with the same kind of attitude that Nugget shows.
Let’s face it, folks. The world is a pretty scary place. I’m not one of those people who try to apply rose-colored lenses to things, so I’m not even going to pretend that it wasn’t scary when I was younger. Instead, I think I’m just paying closer attention, and seeing things happening that I might have glossed over before. However, seeing what’s going on now, both in the city I’ve chosen to call home, and in the global community, I’m feeling myself becoming more and more afraid.
Look at the details. In just recent history, we’ve seen gun violence strike so often that people are no longer outraged or surprised that it happened again. A recent terror attack has got the entire world once again on edge, fearful that the next one could literally be just around the corner, both in geography and timing. And that’s just a part of the things going through the world. We’ve got people sowing hatred of “others”, for what purpose I can’t fathom. Instead of reaching across lines and coming to a consensus, people are actively looking for reasons to demonize those with an opposing viewpoint. Look at the views people espouse towards Planned Parenthood, or Black Lives Matter, or transgender, or religion, or sexual preference, or or or. It’s scary, it’s pushing us further apart instead of drawing us together, and it’s making the world a seemingly darker place.
Yes, I use “seemingly” above for a specific reason. See, my world got changed when Nugget came into it. I discovered fears that I never thought I would have. As she’s grown, some of those fears have abated, and others have popped up in their place. However, the one overarching fear that has been carrying through with all of this is the fear that I’m bringing a child into a world that is attempting to look like the setting of the Fallout series, as opposed to the world I would hope for her. These fears have only been magnified with the fact that Nugget is going to be getting a little brother soon. It’s a fear of being selfish, only having children because I want to pass on my genetic markers for the world. It’s a fear of not being good enough, because I haven’t changed the world fast enough for them to grow up in the kind of comfort I dreamed of. And it’s a fear of somehow, steering them down a path where darkness seems like the not just the best answer, but the only one.
To be clear, most of these fears don’t cripple me. Most of these fears are there in passing, not actively driving my attention. I get scared when Nugget gets a cold, because my brain starts immediately wondering if it’s something worse than a cold, but that doesn’t mean I start getting her ready for a trip to the hospital. When she starts climbing around on furniture, or playground equipment, I get a little scared she’s going to fall and hurt herself, but that doesn’t mean I’m preventing her from exploring her boundaries. It just means that I’m there for her if she should happen to fall. I’m keeping a close eye, and I’m ready to catch her if she needs. As she has been growing, the amount of space I’m noticing myself give her before wondering if I’m too far has definitely increased, and I think that’s how it should be. I’m still there, ready to support her if she needs.
And I think that’s how I need to look at world events, especially as they relate to Nugget, her brother, and the rest of my family, either blood or chosen. I am here. I will extend a safe space to those that want or need me to offer one. And I will stand for what I believe is right, and just, and try to improve the areas where my life touches, hoping that I can spread that outwards.
Look, I’m scared. I fully admit this. The world doesn’t look like the kind of place where I want to raise children. Except when it does. Except when I look around and see the outpourings of love that people can give to each other, both in times of need and in times where it’s just appreciated. I could choose to revel in fear, and let it control my life. Or I can choose to try and spread a kinder emotion, one that stems from a place of deep love.
With regards to Nugget, and to her brother, I will do everything I can to teach them to be open, and accepting, and loving of others, regardless of any supposed difference that might keep them apart. I want to teach them to find ways to use the privilege that they are being born into, and spread that to help make things better for everyone, not to flaunt it or deny it. I will strive to make sure that they are kind, and caring, and looking out for each other, so that they can be strong enough to look out for more than just each other.
I will teach them to love. Not to fear. Because fear is not doing any of us any favors, but love truly can change the world. Even if it is just a little bit at a time.