Everything needs a gripping headline. Our attention is short and fleeting, so each word counts. It started with the media- “what common household items will kill all your pets, answer at 11.” Now we are all the media. Full stories need to be sensationalized into 140 characters.

We love to see the friendship between the kitten and the gorilla, but even better is the guy falling off the roof. There is no slow play in story telling.

Parents are an easy target. DO play music, DON’T allow screen time. AVOID strawberries. That scary scary fruit. So many misteps and your child will never grow, read, thrive. I’m not afraid of that. My son, shorter than his classmates drinks one cup of milk a day and takes a multivitamin. (When he remembers). He is keeping to his curve. When my mother questions this I point at his average height father and short mother and say “its not the milk.”

The child becomes the side effect of the actions, rather than the other way around.

 

Warning sign image 00.25 AMAll of life can could come with a warning sign. There is a scary story for everything. If it ends in an ing it has hurt someone. Walking, biking, running, climbing, driving. Ings bring risk. But a life without them? Not a life at all.

Sometimes I like it when the mass media freaks out about things. The risk of drinking from plastic. OK. I’ll get on board with metal water bottles, they come in such pretty colors. I can stop microwaving things in disposable tupperware. Kmart sells the pack of glass storage containers for 19.99 for a set of 50. I can serve in them. There is science behind this outrage, and a fix that takes not too much time or money. Its one thing crossed off the danger list.

The things I am really scared of go unspoken. That is what makes them truly scary. During my down days I will ring myself in bed with devices. One iPad streaming Tivo. Another playing pet rescue and my phone for the patriots podcast during the recurring streaming glitches. It reminds me of something Leo did once in a moment a great honesty and now continues for its big reaction. ” I hate silence, I hate silence, I hate silence.” Imagine that scream sung at the top of a four year old’s lungs. On repeat.

He hates silence. Or, he did that day.

Clearly my multi device practice is to keep me from tuning into whatever is going on in my head. Today I feel curious about this. Like I want to poke and probe a little. What would I be saying in there that requires a three pronged offensive shutdown. Self loathing? Nothing at all? Am I afraid that I have no deep thoughts? Or that the thoughts would not align with the life I have chosen?

If I am afraid to ask the question I will never know the answer.

Dark corners of anything are scary. Even and especially our own brains.

When I was meditating I was not afraid of silence. It was a necessary step. It got to the point where I didn’t even want to play music in the car. Now I have music, podcasts, phone calls.

The other day I did a day without devices. I was analog Anna.  I wasn’t so scary.

Despite (or because of?) therapy and blogging the thing I am most scared of is me. And heights. But mostly my own thoughts. Its a weird thing to consider. And certainly not as headline grabbing as exploding cars. If I can never fully understand it, at least I can practice to change it. It would be nice if Leo didn’t hate silence.

What about you? Flying.  Disease. Bankruptcy. What is the thing that scares you the most?

 

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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