Pic Credit | Prasert Linruesri via Shutterstock
The other day, just like a zillion other days, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed blissfully unaware of the real problems in the world. Why don’t you know, according to me, my not getting enough sleep or my packing an empty mommy lunch box is what the entire world revolves around? Well, on most days, anyway. And even though these might be the actual day to day problems, in reality, they are really nothing when viewed from a distance. When you take the sum total view or see the woods instead of that lonely single tree, it all falls into perspective. Makes sense? Well, it will in some time.
Anyway, so as one who is jolted awake by a bucket of freezing cold water poured without remorse, a certain post shared by one of my 100 odd ‘friends’ on his ( or was it her?) timeline brought about a momentary yet rude awakening.
One of the realities of becoming a parent is willingly letting your life's happiness rest on a few tiny shoulders. #parenting Click To Tweet
Well, the thing is there are problems and then there are real problems. And as hard as it is to admit, most times I tend to dwell a lot on the former. Actually, it’s not really that hard to admit. I can whine about non-consequential things a little too often. But that day, that one particular post had me scared stiff. Let’s just say (even if for a few days) it made me realize what a real problem, God forbid, could actually look like. It is one which I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemies.
One of the realities of becoming a parent is willingly letting your life’s happiness rest on a few tiny shoulders. The parenting vulnerability as many say. It’s a scary, scary proposition, one which all parents have been living with. I realize I’m no different.
On that day, this post came at me as if to just yank that vulnerable part to the forefront. And I found myself sweaty and terrified. All of a sudden the world seemed a little too real, scarily real.
You probably are thinking enough already, tell me what it was about. Well, so here goes.
It was about the women beggars carrying babies on the streets. These women are always found carrying babies who don’t appear to be their own. Somebody notices that and there is that almost bizarre realisation that something must be done immediately, that this is indeed wrong. The women’s shady stories, conflicting and unsure, on being confronted by passersby, makes the need to do something even more urgent. Then someone suspicious of these very falsities decides to do act. He or she then posts the pictures of these women with these poor babies on Facebook with the hope of this news reaching the real parents. The post is then shared so many times with that very hope. And then? And then what?
I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s the only thing that can be done under such circumstances. I don’t know if sharing the post even helps. Couldn’t that lady be taken to the nearest police station based on suspicion is what I almost always wonder. Well, probably not. I’m not well versed in the law. Damn, the law.
That day after seeing the post I couldn’t help but think about the mother and cringe. What must she be going through? Will she ever get back her baby? What if the post doesn’t reach her? Or, it does but it’s too late? It’s beyond scary and beyond any pain, I can probably ever comprehend. Why does it have to be this way? Why can’t there be a happy ending with every lost child reunited with his or her mother? Why can’t we do something when it is crystal clear that the baby cannot belong to those women on the streets? Why are we so helpless? Or, why does there even have to be a lost child in the first place? Can’t we leave at least the children alone and away from the sad realities of this world?
Those were the questions in my mind while my eyes tried to make sense of the pictures and the catastrophe. And all this in just a fraction of a second because at the very next moment I found myself locking my system and walking towards M’s crèche. I just had to get to her and hug her. I just had to know she is safe and okay. I just had to.
I walked at a pace just short of running and only when I saw her sleeping in her cot did I heave a sigh of relief. Then, the what ifs and God Forbids didn’t let me be that entire day.
The world is unsafe. I’m not naive so I know that. But it scares me. I wonder how to keep M safe. I can’t be with her all the time. Or, can I? Now that she is in the crèche she is just a few minutes away from me during the day. What happens when she goes to school? How do I keep her safe all the time?
I don’t know. I really don’t. I just want to hold her, hug her tight and protect her all the time, logic be damned. Why couldn’t the world just be a safer place? Why?
Tell me, how do you deal with the fear of your child’s or your loved one’s safety?
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