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The Biggest Fear

Are you afraid of anything? As you may have guessed, I am afraid of many things. I hate snakes. I am afraid of small spaces and being trapped and unable to move my legs. I am afraid of driving in the snow. I hate the dark and looking out of my windows at night. But more than any of these, I'm afraid of dying and leaving Caroline without a mom. There are so many things that I want to tell her and I'm worried that something will happen to me and I won't be there to impart my wisdom. A few lessons on my list include:
  • Be kind to others. Treat them as you wish to be treated.
  • Eat a good mix of veggies and fruits along with junk food. Don't drink soda. Drink water.
  • Brush your teeth and please, please floss!
  • Wear clean underwear.
  • Make your bed. It will make you ready to start your day.
  • Stand up straight. (Yes, do as I SAY, not as I DO.)
  • You can have just as much fun sober as you can drunk. But if you do get drunk, have a friend close by to hold your hair back and to turn you over if you puke.
  • Travel as much as you can. Meet people different from you and be open to their differences.
  • God is in you. Nobody else can tell what that word should mean to you.
  • You don't have to wait until you are married to have sex but you should wait longer than you want to...it will make it more exciting for a longer time.
  • Consider applying to Mount Holyoke. You don't have to go there but....
  • Blood is thicker than water whether or not you like it. Friendship is also like blood.
  • We are Red Sox people.
  • Pay it forward.
  • Laugh at yourself.
  • Math is useful. Learn how it works.
  • Dance, sing and love as much as you can.

If something were to happen to me, I know that my friends and family would pick up where I left off. I learned most of this from them anyway. I know in the end, she would be ok. This however, is not my greatest fear. Here is my real secret: I think I really need her more than she needs me. Anyone who has decided they are ready to be a parent, anyone who has wanted a child, knows this fear.

The moment we conceive, or start an adoption process, and welcome a child to our home, she has our heart forever. Man, I had no idea how much I needed Caroline. I believe people come into our lives for a reason, our children included. I can imagine there is nothing more painful (whether you are 20 or 80, whether your baby is a 9-week-fetus or a 50-year-old man) than outliving your child. To all the moms and dads out there who have lived this pain, I think of you whenever Caroline throws a temper tantrum or draws on our newly painted wall or sits on the door of the dishwasher. I think of you when I am too tired to parent. I think of you when I'm up at 4 am rocking her back to sleep, for my lifetime full of lessons to impart pales in comparison to what she has taught me in only a few years.

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