Defying Fear and Living Freely

Journalists aren’t immune to the horrors of terrorism, but we do become numb over the years.

As the decades roll by, photos of the wounded and stories of carnage seem not to hit us as hard they do the people on the street.

The devastation still breaks our hearts, but we read it, see it, and write about it every day, so the pain isn’t as acute.

Then we have children and something shifts — at least, it did for me. I’m more on edge. I think a lot about how to teach Baby Bird to stay safe in the event of a school shooting, stabbing, bombing, or any other horrific attack.

Every terror event since my daughter’s birth has made me more anxious. I never want anyone to be harmed, but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t especially want to protect my child.

The fear has been so overwhelming that I’d nearly ruled out traveling with her, even within the U.S. She could be an innocent bystander caught in the madness.

But the London Bridge attacks were the final straw.

The fear, the frustration, the hate, the bigotry I saw on social media made me sick to my stomach.

My fear was overridden by anger.

I refuse to raise my daughter to live fearfully. The world can be a scary, ugly place. But if we only focus on that, we’ll miss out on innumerable moments of beauty.

I refuse to let fear keep me from showing my daughter the world. She needs to see people of various colors and cultures. If I make her live in a bubble, I’ll be keeping her from really living. I’ll have stripped her of her freedom.

I refuse to let fear keep me from introducing my child to people of all faiths. When we give in to that kind of ignorance, hate wins. Period.

Am I afraid, raising my precious child in this brutal world? Absolutely. But I’m raising her to run the world, so I’ve got no time to wallow in fear.

Screw fear.

My baby and I will live defiantly.

Defying Fear and Living Freely

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