Brussel Sprouts Do Scare Me

Certain things do scare me: Mary Hart, not completing a blog post, brussel sprouts, knives, guns, little boys with red curly hair, and men who clip their fingernails at work… to name a few.

A couple years ago I’d be hard-pressed to create a legitimate fear list. However, I’m pretty sure this has changed. A couple years ago I become a parent and so it’s fair to say I have new fears. Last week I turned on the TV late at night to unwind. Sprawled out on the couch, I found myself glued to an HBO documentary called Boy Interrupted. The documentary is about a mom who chronicles the life of her bipolar son with a video camera. It unfortunately has a tragic ending when the boy commits suicide at the age of 15.

I know, this isn’t a fun topic. It did get me thinking about the fragility of life. I’m honestly very thankful to never know anyone to personally take their own life. I can’t imagine how hard that would be for the victim, surviving family members, and friends. I’ve definitely experienced death first-hand having lost two siblings, but suicide is different.

In the two years since my daughter was born, I can tell you I have new fears. They’re no longer simple fears about celebrities or food. The thought of something going wrong with my daughter’s health or something more dramatic is unappealing I just don’t want to think about it. Yet here I am blogging about the topic. She means the world to me. I’ve learned so much about myself as we raise our child. Last Friday night she threw up a few times when we got home from work. Saturday morning she turns to us and says, “mommy, I need to spit”. The spitting action refers to her vomiting into a bucket. She took the whole being sick episode better than I would.

If you watch the news the headlines are inundated with horrible stories about children losing their lives early. Kids drowning, suffering a dog attack, getting lost in the woods, having a predator touch them, etc… these are things you hear about and hope like hell never happen to your own child. That shit freaks me out. I don’t want my daughter locked in a cave. She loves all the people she interacts with at daycare, but I can see where a parent might want their child to never leave their sight. I’m not a parent that subscribes to the isolation theory. I want her to see as much of the world as possible since I think much of her growth hinges upon the people she meets who aren’t her parents.

I would love to try and wrap this post up with a shiny bow, yet I haven’t a clue where I’m going with this entry. I guess watching the documentary and seeing the family’s raw emotions made my stomach sick. The stuff this family went through in hopes their boy would have a “normal” life is gut wrenching. I say compassion is key.

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About lessinges

Seattle native, discovering life! I like ice cream, cold cereal, and The Amazing Race.
This entry was posted in Facial Tissue, Grown-ups. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Brussel Sprouts Do Scare Me

  1. SM says:

    Dude. You just put into words exactly what has been keeping me up at night. I’m constantly afraid of things now that I have my son. Illness, kidnapping, whatever. I also want him to experience the world and everything it has to offer but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t fill me with trepidation. He’s such a happy and inquisitive little boy and now that he’s walking the whole world has changed for him. And it scares the bejesus out of me even though it makes me happy too. Very confusing for sure.
    Anyway, I totally got where you were going with this and I Definitely identify.

  2. egan says:

    SM – it really is something I struggle with since a child has so much living ahead of them. I want her to learn all that’s out there, but to do so from a safe distance. Conflicting goals? Sure, but that’s how I feel. I imagine this is a common fear with parents. Is your son wearing a helmet?

  3. Felisa says:

    I love reading your posts because they kind of give me a peak into a parent’s brain…
    As I’ve written in my blog, I’m moving out. This has been an incredibly difficult thing for my parents because not only do they come from a culture where this (moving out for a reason other than getting married) isn’t the norm, there are those regular parental fears that they have to deal with. My mom’s biggest fear is that I’m so full of pride sometimes that I might get sick or be starving but I’ll refuse to call home or come home for help… And she kept talking about how she used to never leave my side when I was sick so she can’t imagine that I’ll have to deal with it alone.
    I think the older your child gets, these fears just add up… which isn’t very comforting or helpful. But it’s true — I think for every parent, it will always be a struggle trying to decide when you should rush to your child to protect them and when you should hold back and let them do things on their own. Right now? It’s whether or not you’ll let the little one do things without constantly watching her. In the future, it’ll be whether or not you’ll let her drive the car by herself… It boggles my mind how much being a parent seems to teach people about life and trusting and letting go.
    I’ve got no words of wisdom but it’s a very interesting topic 🙂

  4. Amanda says:

    I know exactly what you’re saying here. Recently, H1N1 has been getting me worried because we’ve been traveling so frequently. A friend of mine, still single, made some comment like “when your time is up….”. I thought to myself that I USED to think that way too, when I was single.
    Now, I’m definitely not going to accept that my son’s time is up or my time is up. I’m going to take precautions. I can’t lose him now and I have to be around to make sure he’s ok. As you mention, death is just one aspect that a parent fears out of the zillion other things.
    He had a high fever for a day on Monday and now he has a cough. Thats TWO H1N1 symptoms and of course I’m worried……

  5. big bro says:

    You could move to Alaska as a front for being an isolationist…live in an igloo and work for S. Palin’s plan of world domination.
    Do you ever fear Anna oould grow up to idolize and be the next Mary Hart?

  6. brookem says:

    yanno, i can only imagine how it must be to feel the fear that you do as a parent.
    you’re a wonderful father.

  7. brookem says:

    …i figured id post my “serious” comment first.
    but um, don’t YOU clip your nails at your desk?

  8. judi!!! says:

    i don’t even know what to say.
    you made me think about how much my father loves me–you are a fantastic father, and it’s barely even started for you.
    miss you!

  9. meno says:

    I used to have a dog who would eat brussel sprouts, a real godsend.
    Being a parent means the worry never, ever ends. Scary.

  10. tori says:

    Being a parent is filled with worry. My baby started kindergarten yesterday. I put him on a bus and sent him to school. It broke my heart, but like you I think outside experiences are so important. What I’d really like to do is never let any of my kids leave my house but that just isn’t going to let them turn into who they are supposed to be.

  11. churlita says:

    A good friend of mine is dealing with a 3 year old with cancer and it kills me every time I hear the details. I don’t know how a person functions everyday when dealing with that.

  12. Golden says:

    I know I’m a little late to the party here, but I’d like to add my two cents.
    My son starts highschool next Tuesday. He will be 15 on September 28th.
    When he was little, I was a constant mess. It was sometimes a struggle just to leave him with somebody else (even his own father!), to go to work etc.
    I don’t have those same fears anymore, but different… more ‘long term’ type ones. I don’t worry about the kidnapping, the ‘is he still breathing?’.. I worry about drugs, bad examples, college, sex, girls, disease.. drugs drugs drugs.. It’s the ‘nature of the beast’ .. It’s love so huge it hurts.

  13. emma says:

    I loved the honesty of this post. But then again, I always love your honesty. I can’t imagine the fear that a parent must feel. I don’t want to, actually. I’m not sure what you do to ensure it isn’t crippling and that it isn’t translated to your children. Because a fearful child may be the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. (I’m referring to the universal “you,” by the way, not YOU you!)

  14. Gwen says:

    brussel sprouts are tasty, when cooked right/
    but the things that can happen to our children? can’t go there.

  15. egan says:

    Felisa – now you’re making me feel old. I know I’m not old enough to have a daughter in college though. I can sort of see your mom’s fears, but then again you have to learn. So much of what we learn in college is outside of the classroom. Having a gaggle of girl roommates will teach you a lot, fast.
    I’m not sure what will happen as she gets older. Right now I actually feel less stressed since she can tell us what’s going on. As an infant or toddler she had troubles explaining where she hurt. Then again there’s scary boys/men later in life. Toss up?
    Amanda – the thought of something awful happening to either my wife or my daughter is too much. I can’t even fathom what life would be like. Sure we don’t have much control over when some freak accident could happen, but I don’t think I want to live that way. I try not to sweat the small stuff, but as a parent that’s easier said than done.
    Big Bro – if Baby Singe idolizes Mary Hart we are in a lot of trouble. I suspect Mary won’t be alive when Baby Singe is a teenager.
    Brookem – that’s when being a parent is rather intense. Ha, I like your less serious comment. Yes, yes I do and I’m proud of it.

  16. Kim says:

    Awww Egan, I have watched you grow in to a wonderful parent and a fantastically proud daddy. I remember when you were a baby phobe hahaha 🙂
    I have been a parent for 28 years. Wow… 28 years! Anyway, it never stops. The real fears that you have when they are little multiply and grow in to more complex fears as they grow up (and as you grow up too). Then it isn’t just about their tummy aches or being well adjusted or safe crossing the street, its about their choices, their heart breaks, disappointments, the list goes on and on.
    After losing babies to miscarriage and one to a genetic mishap, friends to suicide, and my parents to cancer, truly the only advice I can give you is to enjoy your life, live in the moment as much as possible and just be happy when you can, its a gift.
    As Walt Disney once said … “For every laugh there should be a tear”
    Kim
    xoxoxox

  17. sari says:

    I will admit that I have my moments of utter and complete freaking out over things regarding my children. I try to keep them internal though. I don’t want them to freak out too.
    It’s tough!

  18. egan says:

    Judi – aw, thank you very much. That was a sweet thing to say. I suppose I should practice what I preach give my dad a call. Nice to see you around here.
    Meno – the worry never ends? That wasn’t on the manual, but I do think you’re right about it. There are pets which will eat brussel sprouts? I need one. Do they poop too or have they been genetically altered where they don’t poop? That would be ideal.
    Tori – you hit the nail on the head. The first day of kindergarten will be rough, yet I will be so proud of her. She enjoys the heck out of her current “school” so I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
    Churlita – a story like that just rips your heart apart. I absolutely don’t know how a parent manages. The kids in situations like that are so strong and mature it blows my mind.
    Golden – he’s going to high school? Man, I remember meeting him for the first time when he was about 7-8 years old. My how quickly they do grow or is it odd that time doesn’t stand still? That means I’m 7-8 years older than I was then. Sucky!
    Emma – well thank you very much, how very kind of you. These damn documentaries sure do crazy things to me. How a parent goes on, I will not know. I imagine you take it day-by-day and your true priorities in life completely shift. Maybe not such a bad thing.
    Gwen – I hear you and I do my best to not think about them. It forces you to appreciate the present, that’s for sure. My wife can make great sprouts, they just don’t do it for me though even with heaps of butter.
    Kim – not sure I was ever really a baby phobe. I may have had some fears of the unknown, but I didn’t fear being a parent per se. I get what you’re saying though. You’re spot on about living in the moment. While it’s important to plan ahead, it’s also important to not get too wrapped up on the planning. I enjoy the good and the bad. While I don’t like when my daughter is in a fussy mood, it makes me appreciate the vast majority of her good moods.
    Sari – or you can blog about those moments right? Would you be a baseball fan if it wasn’t for your kids? Love does crazy things to us, especially when it’s your child.

  19. LiLu says:

    I think it’s the sort of thing that’s so terrifying you just have to block out the possibility… unless, of course, it actually happens.
    Then you’re fucked.
    Sigh.

  20. egan says:

    Lilu – I do agree, but I suppose thinking about this sort of thing does keep things in perspective a bit.

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