My partner, Ann-Elise, gave birth to both of our kids, but being in the delivery room with her was an intense experience for me, too, especially with our firstborn. When I saw our son, Graham, for the first time, I was filled with love, wonder and a boundless joy — but also a new, almost paralyzing fear.
I realized in that moment: If anything were to happen to him, I would feel responsible. And I understood, for the first time, how devastating it would be to lose him.
I've been feeling that fear a lot lately — news of the Boston marathon bombings has been inescapable these past few weeks. I couldn't help thinking, What if one of my kids had been killed in the bombing? Or, perhaps worse: What if my children had planted the bombs?
Fortunately, while all of this has been going on, I've been editing the stories in this Baby & Maternity Issue of Kids VT. Many of them are about nurturing and celebrating new life, from Alison Novak's piece on baby massage in "Fit Families" to Erica Houskeeper's "Use Your Words" essay about becoming a mom at age 40. Ken Picard's "Strapped for Crash" offers some tips for keeping our children out of harm's way.
I found Kathryn Flagg's story about her prenatal preparations ("Mommy Time") particularly moving. In it, she describes attending a pregnancy circle, during which she and another mom-to-be were each instructed to write up a list of their fears. The length of Flagg's surprised her. Then the two women burned their lists in a metal bowl while a doula assured them, "You are strong enough."
The doula was presumably talking about going through labor, but she could have been referring to all that comes after. Her message filled me with confidence — it's one all parents probably need to hear more often.
If you, like me, are looking for signs of hope, read "Keen on Camp," in which four campers explain why they can't wait to get away this summer. When I asked 12-year-old Gabriello Lewis to share what he loves about the Kinhaven Music School, he began by telling me excitedly, "It's just too good to describe."
After I spoke with him, I got his mom's version. Lori informed me that Gabriello raised $1100 toward camp tuition all by himself by busking on the Church Street Marketplace.
It makes me feel better knowing there's a place in this crazy world that inspires that kind of positive passion.
This issue of Kids VT lifted my spirits; I hope it has a similar effect on you. Give us a call or send us an email to let us know. We love hearing from you.
South Pomfret, VT
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