There have been a few posts floating around the blogosphere recently about the fear that comes with being a parent.Â Liz from Living with Kids and Heather from Notes from Lapland have both written posts on the subject. I myself have written about the guilt I feel about almost everything, but more recently I have become aware of another, new feeling: protectiveness.
And I don’t mean an “oh would you mind not doing that” kind of protectiveness. I mean a fierce, all-consuming, throw-myself-between-a-car-and-my-baby kind of protectiveness; a ferocious fire that burns in my chest and raises its head like a snake, ready to strike; a lioness ready to pounce on anyone that dare threaten my child.
The guy that drives too fast through the parking lot, the motorist honking his horn outside my house, the smoker walking in front of us, the chump that knocks into us in a crowded shop. One and all, they stand the risk of my wrath. And I’m generally an even tempered person.
It’s in our children’s vulnerability that we as parents find our usefulness and our purpose. It’s in their need for protection that we find our strength. I wonder if this feeling will fade as the years pass and she grows and becomes more independent? Or does it grow as they grow, causing dads to wait up in a darkened lounge for when their not-so-little girls come in at night?
I recall a line from a movie I don’t recall the title of, where one character says to another, â€œbut if you don’t allow him to do anything, he’ll never do anythingâ€ or something along those lines. (In my head that plays in Dory’s voice, but I can’t find it in the Finding Nemo transcript!)
I guess that’s the balance I need to find. Holding on without clutching, hugging without suffocating, loving wholly and completely knowing full well that some day, probably sooner than I’d like, I’ll have to let go. And then trusting in God and in our parenting decisions to keep her safe, protected, without instilling too much fear in her.
How do you or did you deal with those breathless moments as a protective parent?