The birth of my daughter nine years ago made me see the world differently – good and bad. It was a great day. There have been happy moments that have made me feel guilty I’ve experienced them, like the squeal of pure joy my daughter makes over the simplest discovery and surprise.
When she was three or four, I would hide an object, usually a small stuffed animal, under a couch pillow and let her believe she had magic powers. “Say the magic words,” I said. And she would do her best to say words that sounded magical. I would press the object against the pillow, lifting them both, and “presto” it was gone. Then through some strategic tosses with my wife the object would make its way into another room in the house where my daughter would discover it. Magic; magical. To live and experience that moment and the look on her face of amazement and pride makes me the luckiest of men.
But not every story has a magical ending. There is the reality and responsibility of raising a daughter into this world and ensuring she experiences the joy of her own child’s mad happy scream one day. And I try not to be a pessimist when I look at the future that is not my own, but was part of my creation. I see peak oil capacity on the horizon, more people in prison than ever before, whorish government officials abusing their power, depleted fish in our oceans, and population growth this earth’s limited resources cannot support. And I worry. I worry a lot. And I feel helpless. A lot.
Couple these fears with my opinion of how low humanity can sink, including me, and I spend my days holding dark thoughts at bay. I’m not ready to buy a Mayan calendar yet, but I’m worried “something wicked this way comes.” And I feel like I should be doing more to prepare my wife and daughter for the day it shows up, though I hope it never does. I want to be proven wrong, but the math and science don’t look good.
I worry about my wife and daughter when I’m gone. They’re not as street smart as they should be. It’s not in them. They are good. I have seen more than I ever wanted to, or asked to. Been in situations I shouldn’t have been in. Done things in the past I’m not proud off. Sins may be forgiven, but they’re not forgotten.
I have no answers tonight. Just the need to get the thoughts and fears out and fill the open space in my head with solutions and positive thoughts. There is always a solution. Now I just have to think of one. People I love are depending on it.