Saturday, May 15, 2010


If I could name them, my fears would fill whole books. Great dusty tomes smelling of sweaty hands and dry rot. I try not to think about them in quantitative terms lest I be overwhelmed by the shear weight of those volumes. Two years and ten months ago a new set of fears came into my life, almost identical to those old familiar ones. For every fear I have for myself, I have one for Emlyn. Even in those moments where the joy crushes my lungs until all I can do is laugh those fears sit waiting. This too is parenting.

My fears for myself once threatened to bury me. No single one was enough to do it, but the weight of them all together was almost too much. I can't think why I never gave up. Perhaps, deep down, I really am an optimist. Whatever, the why of it doesn't matter anymore.

My fears for Emlyn are fundamentally different. They cannot overwhelm me, because if they did, if I succumbed, Em would be damaged. This is not an irrational fear like so many I have, this is a simple fact. A fact borne out by the damage I got from my father succumbing to his demons.

I can't prevent some of the things I worry about from coming to pass. Em will get her heart broken, it is even healthy that she do so. One can learn so much from such things. But I will be there to wipe her tears and say, "This too shall pass." I will be there to hold her and say "I love you."

I will be there.

Fuck all my fears. They have less worth than the tiniest part of the most insignificant moment in my daughter's life. They're dusty words in dusty books, and even if I can't be rid of them entirely they shall never threaten me again.

This is what joy looks like:

1 comment:

The Mister said...

Like the fish said in that movie, "If nothing ever happens to [her] then... noting will ever happen to [her]!"

I agree wholeheartedly that it is truly terrifying to an extent that I have never known terror before.

But I survived to adulthood, so will they most likely.