I picked my daughter up from her crib this morning and together, we pulled back the curtains over her window to watch the rain. As I held her there, her legs suddenly seemed impossibly long, and she felt heavy to me for the first time. I kissed her cheek and she turned her face away. She is only 18 months old, but she is not my little baby anymore.
When she was an infant, I worried constantly about things like SIDS and weight gain and diaper counts. I’m just now noticing how long it’s been since I’ve thought about those things. The infant fears have rolled over into toddler fears. Are her fine motor skills developing properly? Is she talking enough? Sleeping enough? Social enough?
And now I have an entirely new set of fears. I fear for her future. For her rights as a young woman. For her education. For her freedom. For her safety. For her planet.
I used to find comfort living in a big city. Diversity. Acceptance. And heck—it’s Los Angeles—Democrats.
Now, I worry that living in a big city will make us a target.
Do you know what popped up in my Instagram feed on Friday? A Home Depot ad for BOMB SHELTERS.
And I swear to you that this isn’t something I’d been perusing previously on their web site. I went on Home Depot’s web site a few weeks ago to look at light fixtures and there was nothing else even remotely along those lines in my search history. Maybe the key word marketing folks just saw someone who had visited a legitimate factual news story and said CLICK. SHOW HER A BOMB SHELTER.
This is our reality right now in the United States. Suddenly, daily life feels like the beginning of a work of dystopian fiction.
That’s the kind of thing that maybe I’d have said previously with a note of sarcasm and a roll of my eyes. Under the last Bush, perhaps. But there’s no sarcasm now. Just genuine concern for the future of my country.
It’s not only fear, though. It’s frustration. Anger. Contempt. Confusion.
Our lives are in the hands of someone who has no regard for what that means. It boggles my mind.
I have mostly abandoned Facebook politics at this point. I needed more of an outlet, so I’ve taken to Twitter (@houndmamas). I don’t even recognize myself in some of my tweets. Give me a vaguely anonymous platform and I’ll tell you how I really feel, apparently. Plus it feels really good to be able to put the caps lock on and call the Senate GOP imbeciles. Not productive in the least, but it’s like releasing a bit of steam so the pot doesn’t boil over.
I have no idea what the future holds for us, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t keeping me awake some nights. I truly hope my fears turn out to be irrational. It would make me so happy to be wrong. At this point, though, I’m pretty sure that the best case scenario would be that I’m only half right.