Becoming a parent has changed my life in so many ways. I think the biggest difference is my mindset. I no longer think about myself. What I need and want doesn’t matter nearly as much anymore. Every thought I have is about Jackson. Every decision I make and step I take is for Jackson. What does he need? How can I keep him safe at all times? The fears I have are insurmountable. I know someday he will be on his own, making his own decisions, and having to protect himself. This thought sends shivers down my spine and keeps me up at night. With the daily violence on the news and the terrifying event in Orlando recently, I can’t help but wonder if this world is safe for my child to grow up in.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was in my college days. Living carefree, mortgage free, and having the time of my life. I would go to a bar or club with only happy thoughts and absolutely no worries on my mind. I’m guessing the victims in the Orlando tragedy had similar thoughts that night. What has the world come to? So much hatred and violence. It seems that no place, event, plane is guaranteed safe anymore.

I want Jackson and our future children to experience the world throughout their lifetime. I want them to be well-traveled, spontaneous, thrill-seeking, and open-minded. But is it safe? The thought of them being on a plane and traveling to a different country scares me right now. On the other hand, I don’t want to live in fear and a “what if” lifestyle. We can’t live in a bubble and avoid every possible mishap.

My goal is to teach my children to be cautious, but not scared. I want them to live their life to the fullest, but to be careful. I want to teach them how to choose the right friends and to make the right choices. I want them to follow the rules, but to have fun. Most importantly I pray for them to stay safe!

“When you try to control everything you enjoy nothing. Sometimes, you need to relax, breathe, let go, and just live in the moment.”


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