Parents see their child enter the world as innocent and pure as new-fallen snow. We worry about lots of things both big and little that could conceivably go wrong.
But I've always found "worry" to be an unproductive thing. It can grab hold of a person with a vivid imagination in a really bad way, so long ago I shook loose from guessing what fortune might befall my kids. Still...this morning...
"I'm fine!" was the subject line. The email was from J, in Nairobi.
Just out of bed, a faint feeling of anxiety had driven me to check my email before brushing my teeth.
Of all the things I ever worried about...the night in an ER when she was 7 weeks old, the time she did a handspring as a teenager and landed on her head, the dangerous bush taxi rides in Niger as a Peace Corps volunteer... I never thought much about her being a possible victim of a terrorist attack. No, that one didn't count for much, even after she was evacuated from her Nigerien village in 2009.
The shopping mall that is under attack today, as I write this, is a stone's throw from her apartment in Nairobi. The cafe that lays strewn with bodies was where she had lunch 2 weeks ago. The groceries in her kitchen were purchased at this market 48 hours ago. There are helicopters over her head right now. I know this because we've been able to talk via cell phone.
And so it is true that terrible things can happen to very good people. I watch the news in real-time as it reports at least
Update: J will be leaving Nairobi on October 1.