Every night, I check on my son – multiple times – before I got to bed. It’s a dance I perform every hour or so after I put him down in his crib. I climb the stairs without cause, softly push open his door, and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. Sometimes I just stand there listening to him breathe.
After a while I reach down to touch his hair, pat his hip, and go back downstairs. Over the last few months I have found myself checking on him more often. I’m not entirely sure why.
I do know that I am increasingly uneasy. My journaling reflects that. Every night before bed I write a worry I have and something that I am grateful for. Lately, my worries seem a lot easier to identify.
Yesterday, while reading a story about some of the victims from the Las Vegas shooting I paused when I came across a young man who died at 23. “We only had one child,” his parents said. “We just don’t know what to do.”
I stopped reading. I went for a walk. I thought of this young man and his parents. My throat closed in on itself. Then I thought of my son at daycare. Probably sucking his thumb and pushing around a toy car. Then I worried. And I got mad that I have to worry.
I called my senators. Their staffers read prepared statements over the phone.
“I don’t care what he said. What is he going to do?” I asked.
I am still waiting for a response.