My Fear of the Unimaginable


My kids and I are a little obsessed with Hamilton this summer. A dear friend put it best; there are two kinds of people – those that love Hamilton and those that haven’t heard it yet. The songs have been my family’s soundtrack to our adventures for the past five weeks. There is nothing cuter than watching my four year old son in the rear view mirror taking his part as Alexander with gusto, but I digress. One song that has struck a chord with me is the haunting, “It’s Quiet Uptown,” which gives an account of how the Hamiltons go on living after the death of their young son.


Seems like the world is full of imaginable things happening daily. People all around us receiving news that never in their worst nightmares could they imagine happening. It happened on the most perfect Tuesday in September as husbands and wives sat down at their desks to begin their work day. That clear blue sky. The Unimaginable. It happened on a Friday just before Christmas in the small town right next door. 26 angels that never came home. The Unimaginable. Paris, Orlando, the list is too long, too horrific to conceptualize. The Unimaginable.

The recent tragedy in Nice impacted me pretty hard. I had backpacked there as a young 20 year old, and I vividly picture celebrating in the streets on the way to the beach after a World Cup game circa 1997. My mother was not at all too eager to send me off for a month and a half over the Atlantic with nothing but a backpack and a money belt. I thought she was just being an overprotective parent, and now I know she was visualizing the Unimaginable.

As a result being a parent in 2016 is scary. Try as I might, I can’t always push away these anxious thoughts that come over me and paralyze me with fear. Those moments when I fear the Unimaginable. I fear that phone call, that knock on my door. I’ve always lived an adventurous life, but now as a parent I wouldn’t mind putting my whole family in a protective bubble. I am not sure if this is partly from losing a family member in a tragedy or from being a Highly Sensitive Person or is this just what happens when you get your mommy card? Perhaps it is a little bit of all three. I am trying my best to live each day in the moment and not let these fears get the best of me. “Hold your child as tight as you can and push away the unimaginable.”

Anyone else have a fear of the unimaginable?

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Shannon has lived in Fairfield County, CT for most of her life and currently lives in Monroe. She has a daughter L (September, 2008) and a son B (May, 2012). Shannon balances being a wife and mom with working 186 days out of the year as a special education teacher. Thank goodness for vacations, summer break, and snow days! You can be sure that she fills those days with as many amazing activities and outings that she can think of to make up for the time that she is at work. In a distant life, way before babies, Shannon was an aspiring actress and musician. You can sometimes still find her leading sing-a-longs with her guitar at the kids’ playgroups or at her daughter’s school.


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