I will honestly say I have struggled with anxiety since I was in the 4th grade. No kidding. I underwent multiple tests for stomach issues which the doctors deduced were caused by stress. Stress from what, you ask? Social Studies. It was the first time I wasn't a straight A student and I couldn't for the life of me get a handle on our Nation's history. This is the first time I can remember having anxiety. It's been an off and on struggle for me since I was 10.
My mother and father are from Italy. Dad (or Papa as I call him) came over on the boat to Ellis Island when he was 16. He moved in with his aunt in Hilcrest Heights, MD went to school and learned a trade. He met my mom who was here visiting her older brother who had moved over from Sicily, they fell in love and never went back to Italy. My older brother and I were both born at Southern Maryland hospital, and spent summers in Italy visiting my grandparents.
Now, it's my turn to take my daughter to meet her aunts and uncles and cousins. Unfortunately, all of my grandparents passed away a long time ago. Eleanor's middle name, Domenica, is after my mother's mom. I am thrilled, excited and counting down the days but, given the recent terrorist attacks in Europe I am sick to my stomach with anxiety over the international flight it takes to get there.
This isn't like being nervous about sounding stupid about something I said on the air one day, or whether I'll get a good grade in Social Studies. No, this is this mama bear instinct we get the moment we give birth. Moms will do ANYTHING to take care of their babies, and the anxiety I have is not being in control of taking care of my little Eleanor.
So what am I going to do? Cancel my tickets? Yes, I got trip insurance, but no. Hell to the no. They aren't going to win. Not today. Not in Manchester. Not in London. Not on 9-11. These hateful acts against our freedoms are called "terrorism" for a reason, and if I allow my fear to prohibit me from seeing my family and introducing my daughter to her cousins, then they win. It's my job to protect this beautiful, little peanut of mine. It is also my job, to give her the world.
Okay, anybody have some tissues...