Someone once told me that you don’t know the meaning of worry until you become a parent – and ever since I’ve become a dad, I know exactly what they’re talking about.
Fuelled by horrific news stories like this and this, I sometimes find my anxiety rising to epic proportions. In fact, if I were to sit and think about just how many horrible things could happen to my children every day – illness, disease, cancer, abduction, injury – I’d never let them leave the house. In fact, I wouldn’t let them leave their bed, and if I did I’d insist that they were wrapped in their duvets to prevent any nasty bruises if they fall over (which they invariably will, because the duvet will be around their legs).
But I can’t, of course. It’s probably against the law, for one thing, and a bit weird, for another. I have to let them live, knowing that they run the risk of bumps and scrapes, and trusting that when they’re ill they’ll recover, and hoping that they never become the victim of something awful. And all the while my anxiety will mean I quiver inside like a child molester in a playground – which, ironically, is one of my biggest fears.