N is for News. Several years ago in my pre-kids life, a mom friend told me that she didn't read the newspaper or watch the news, because she didn't care what was happening in the rest of the world. I struggled to keep my surprised disdain from my face and wondered if this was a special type of parental stupidity, or if she had always been so clueless.
Then I had my own two kids, and although we get a daily newspaper and a weekly news magazine, I skip most of the "serious" news. It's not that I don't care. It's that I feel completely exhausted and bruised by the viciousness of our world. I want to gather up my little family and huddle under the blankets in the hope that the random demon of fate will pass us by. My babies are growing so fast and as difficult as I find the task of parenting small children, at least their universe is contained.
Sass goes to school next year. It terrifies me to think of her tiny legs entering a world where going to see a movie, eating an ice cream cone or sitting in a classroom can be fatal. I don't know how to cope with this fear other than preparing her and protecting her the best I can, and I don't need to gorge myself on real-life tragedies to do that. Sometimes it's impossible to look away, because the shock and grief is so deep, and the least we can do for the victims is hear their stories. But I try to avoid reading about every horrible event that happens across the globe. My head is full of enough sadness already.