Running through town on Sunday, the title of a book in a window caught my eye: "Love is letting go of the fear." Really? I wonder if this author has children. Because, for me, love and fear are the siamese twins of parenting.
This is not a new concept, certainly. I believe the great bearded one also tried to make this point. While I appreciate the sentiment, he did not have to lie in bed at night waiting for the click of the front door, footsteps on the stairs and an alcohol free kiss goodnight before he could get his shut-eye.
I love my children, with every fiber of my being and, therefore, I have lots and lots of fear that some great evil will befall them. Danger lurks around every corner for them, from a skiing related closed head injury to the potential car crash or date rape, or according to NBC this morning, choking on a nerf gun dart.
What to do? I've often wished I could surround my children in bubble wrap. While this may seem comical, I realized there's some truth to it. There are people in our lives that we must wrap tightly in our love. Not so tightly that they cannot grow or breathe, but tightly enough that they can feel it, always, so that, hopefully, our love might serve as some sort of a protective shield for them. This act is a talisman for us as well, so that we will never be left thinking "I wish I had loved them more."
Sometimes the bubbles in our wrap get stomped on and they pop. Fear serves a purpose in reminding us to check for wear and tear and to add more wrap to those we love when we see it wearing thin, to make sure that the ends are tucked in and that there's no straggling plastic to trip them up.
So, while love may be letting go of the fear, I certainly am not.