It is terrifying to love people so much and to feel so helpless to protect them. You want to put up a safety net to protect them from every fall life has to throw at them. Of course, we all try to keep our kids safe, to limit the amount and magnitude of dangers that can happen. But we have to admit at some point we are powerless, and that feeling of being powerless is debilitating when you let it get to you.
The reasonable (after a cup of coffee) self says that your job is to protect them as best you can, and to give them the tools to be strong and know what to do in the face of something scary. Build their internal strength and they will be able to fend off most of the list. But what about the kids who cannot defend themselves. The kids with disabilities who are slightly more helpless and vulnerable to the top five list? How do we let them go out into the world without us when we just don’t know? Will they be able to fend for themselves against the bad? Will their weaknesses being taken advantage of?
It makes the basic parenting fears someone seem magnified by a hundred, and without that feeling of “there is something I can do” that saves us from climbing back under the covers permanently.
What is the answer? Raise our kids with as much internal strength as a person can have? Tell them about the scary things, so they know how to spot them? I just don’t know?