This was posted a while back on my personal site. Occasionally, a mommy-blogger gets noticed, and this morning, at about the same time I received a small award for this piece of writing, I also received a phone call about a loved one who is likely headed to the combat zone. Makes it especially poignant, I think.

“Mom, what are you afraid of?” Jeffrey querries as he plays with Legos on the floor…

I look up from Abby’s face as she contentedly nurses away and my eyes drift toward the ceiling. Dozens of fears percolate to the surface, but nothing I can share with my four-year old. Twirling and tossing and twisting my string of fears, trying to pluck something, my thoughts are dark; what am I afraid of? Of not being a good mother; of dying before they can remember me well; of what life would be like without their dad; of being alone forever; of giving them bad memories; of someone half a world away who would kill us for being Americans; of having these fears in the first place; of pollution and dirty water and poison air; of pollitical unrest in unstable contries; of any of them, ever, being in pain; of how life is going to treat any of thier tender little selves; of ever loosing faith; and the thoughts just continue to bubble up and up.

“Sharks” I say out loud.

“I’m not afraid of anything!” He declares with all the bravery and surety of his four years.

“I know, baby.” My eyes well with tears. At least I’m doing something right.


  1. Thanks for sharing this here; it is touching.

  2. Wow! Just wow!

    I am going to link this on my own blog – and my wife’s.

  3. well done.

  4. StillConfused says:

    My foster son is in the special forces in Iraq. ‘Nuff said

  5. Great post Tracy. It reminds me of one of the greatest columns ever written, which you can read here.

  6. MCQ, Brilliant link on a brilliant thread. Life really doesn’t get much better than what Tracy and Rick describe.

  7. Wow, I never thought to be in the same sentence with Rick Reilly. Cool. I always read SI from the back forward.

  8. Tracy is my new hero.

  9. My brother just got back from Afghanistan. Though I believe God doesn’t micromanage our existence, I sure pray like he does. May God be with your loved one.

  10. “At least I’m doing something right.” Indeed, you are.

    Thanks for sharing. I needed to contemplate this perspective right now.

  11. Aaron Brown says:


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