“Mom, what are you afraid of?” Jeffrey querries as he plays with Legos on the floor…

I look up from Abby’s face as she contentedly nurses away and my eyes drift toward the ceiling. Dozens of fears percolate to the surface, but nothing I can share with my four-year old. Twirling and tossing and twisting my string of fears, trying to pluck something, my thoughts are dark; what am I afraid of? Of not being a good mother; of dying before they can remember me well; of what life would be like without their dad; of being alone forever; of giving them bad memories; of someone half a world away who would kill us for being Americans; of having these fears in the first place; of pollution and dirty water and poison air; of pollitical unrest in unstable contries; of any of them, ever, being in pain; of how life is going to treat any of thier tender little selves; of ever loosing faith; and the thoughts just continue to bubble up and up.

“Sharks” I say out loud.

“I’m not afraid of anything!” He declares with all the bravery and surety of his four years.

“I know, baby.” My eyes well with tears. At least I’m doing something right.

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