Friday, March 29, 2013

9:00 PM
I ran on Thursday night.
To be this free...

Not because I wanted to get fit, or train for something, or burn calories. Not because I needed to take the dog out.

I ran on Thursday night because I needed to cry.

I headed out into the smoky blue, early darkness. I let the pounding of my feet stamp away the pain, the jingle of my dog's collar cheer me, and the great big, wide-open sky absorb my thoughts.

The crying wasn't loud. It didn't try to fill the space around me. It didn't need to close up any big, gaping wounds.

The crying was soft and quiet. It was just a stream of tiny rivulets that made their way around a thousand small perturbations - The relic scar tissue from the pinpricks that are slowly starting to deflate the bubbles of expectation and hope and optimism that I have for my kid's futures. It was the crying of parental wanting and of impotence.

I am feeling all that now, acutely, with respect to my little girl.

My little girl is a kid bursting out of a child's body. A girl whose skirts and dresses twirl in wide arcs around her when she spins. A girl for whom letters are starting to morph into words and leap off the page and into her imagination. A girl for whom numbers can be added and subtracted and multiplied and the number "9" (or any other number) can miraculously be arrived at by any means or direction. A girl who wakes up each day with nothing but brightness and love and enthusiasm for the day and world ahead.

A girl who, unbeknownst to her, is getting doors of opportunity slammed in her face in ways that feel so arbitrary and capricious and how can this be? She will never know that she was the collateral damage of business decisions, of policy choices, of real estate markets.

But I will know it.

And what do I do with that information? 

Right now, I am left feeling like my best wasn't good enough. I am second guessing some of the decisions and choices my husband and I have made that we thought were in the best interests of our family. I am now certain that this will be the first of many times that I will feel like my daughter (for an arbitrary reason) will not be allowed the opportunity to excel in ways that, by all metrics and measures, I know that she could.

I ache knowing that this will not be the last time I will be unable to fully protect her and provide for her interests. I am saddened to realize that my ability to ensure that she has a life that is wide open and filled with adventure and opportunity will necessarily fall short sometimes. I hurt for the hurt that I know she will experience and bear witness to as a citizen of this world.

I guess all of this is just small part of me coming to terms with my own impotence as a parent. Of realizing that no matter what I do, or how badly I want something for my kid, life isn't and never will be fair

This is not me settling though. This is not me giving in. 

This is me growing up.

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