This will be a much more somber and sentimental post than you may be used to. I’m actually a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain’s “ No Reservations” show (not to mention his writings…particularly the non-fiction). He just aired an episode from Nicaragua during which there was a segment showing roughly 300 people who lived literally hand to mouth in a landfill. There were children wandering through rotting, stinking, and dangerous garbage looking for food and scraps to recycle. It was appalling, and Bourdain himself was more moved than I think I’ve ever seen him (including his original Beirut episode during which he and his crew became stranded during one of their many – unfortunately – episodes of turmoil). The segment concluded with Bourdain doing shots of rum (?) in apparent self-loathing, stating that his daughter was the age of one of the little girls depicted.
It got me thinking along lines that have visited me quite frequently since becoming a mother. I will often just sit and stare at my little girl. I could do it for hours. I would gladly take any discomfort or pain that would come her way. I would give up any measure of my own comfort for hers. I think that this is absolutely typical of MOST mothers. It’s merely something that you can’t understand, however, until you’ve become one.
It saddens me that there are babies out there that not only don’t get what they need to thrive, but aren’t loved and adored the way mine is. Any time I hear a sad story about a sick or dead child on the news, it’s incomprehensible to me how those parents must feel. I really don’t know how I would or could continue to function if something awful were to happen to Stella. The footage from Japan is simply beyond words. I keep seeing images of toddlers being screened for radiation, and while I realize this is for their own good, I can’t imagine the terror of their mothers.
I really DO try not to wallow in the negative and “what ifs.” Sometimes, however, it’s difficult not to find yourself wishing you were omnipotent and could safely deliver and nurture all of these wonderful innocent creatures from the fear and danger in which they live.