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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mini vacation: Topsail; parenthood as of October











It's October.  October.  Two years ago, we were on our way to the Czech Republic, and now in the past two months my baby has turned into a toddler -- a rather fearless one, to be specific.  This child would bound right into the crashing waves if we let her.  

Life is good.  There are struggles and worries as there always are, I'd be lying if I said my Instagram feed accurately reflected all of life.  There are tears and fears (and tears for fears?) -- I want to grab onto this time and bottle it up, but it slips through my fingers and I find myself trying to plan for the future in ways that are difficult.

I struggle with planning for the future we want, because there are so many futures we want, and they simply can't all happen (I guess unless we buy a summer farm in Maine and then live in RVA the rest of the year, ha).  Big things, like where to live long-term (we have moved so much, and I long to buy a home again just to feel settled again, finally) and small things, like where to send her to school, except that's hardly small.  I want to buy into our public school system and I know the only way more equal education will be achieved is by people not fleeing in droves, I want to be a good activist, I want to boldly march against the crowd, but I would be lying if I said my fear of school shootings didn't rear its head in my heart daily.  Sometimes you just have to admit defeat when it comes to anxiety and I think my relentless fear and constant worry will drive me mad if I send her to the perfectly good public school in our current district.  And then I think, god, what a bourgeois problem.  The public school is perfectly good but my own fears for me daughter keep me from wanting to enroll her there.  

But at what point do you decide the anxiety you'd experience as a parent is worth paying a lot to alleviate (if not entirely obliterate)?  

Parenthood has been wonderful, but it sure does strike fear in the heart.  I don't know how to fix that though, so I slog on through the crashing waves, trying to figure out what to do, knowing most decisions are imperfect.  As we all do.

6 comments:

  1. It makes me so angry that we have to worry about school shootings. If we lived in, say, the Czech Republic, it really wouldn't be a worry (though there would obviously be other problems.) Please write an e-mail to your local politicians if you have a moment.

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    1. Indeed. And I know logically every place has its own struggles, but a school shooting is just so horrifically terrifying.

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  2. These have to be my favorite pictures you've ever posted. They just capture this age/stage/moment perfectly.

    School is such a huge decision. It's so overwhelming. You and Patrick will end up making the right decision for your family!

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  3. I wonder - why are you more worried about school shootings in public school than in private? I'm guessing that as a librarian you have looked at the stats, but I thought they happened everywhere, and were mostly perpetrated by young middle class white dudes. In nurseries right up through college, movie theaters, malls. I don't think public vrs private is the way to dodge it. I wish I could tell you that you could control such things, somehow, that there was a way. I get really tempted to send my kid to private school to try to avoid bullying, as I think small private schools of a certain kind are a bid more no tolerance on that kind of thing and that is what I want.

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    1. Totally valid question! And one I can answer: basically, I'm looking at all-girl private schools specifically, and since shooters tend to be male (95% according to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-j-doll-phd/closing-the-gender-gap-in_b_5924350.html -- not the most academic of sources, but still), removing her from a male-classmate environment seems a way to protect her, to a certain extent, from that one specific type of shooting.

      But yeah -- it's not a perfect solution. There's still that 5%, and so it's really just a matter of looking at the demographics of the shooter and trying to remove her from that demographic in whatever way I can. I know the media fuels my fear (and it's beneficial for them to do so) but I also know my own anxiety troubles, and so while I don't like making decisions based on fears that I know people are basically getting paid to pump into my brain, I also can't pretend they aren't real fears that I'm feeling, if that makes sense.

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