Being a Protective Parent


Fatherhood is looming for me. My wife is expecting to give birth in the next 7 weeks and to tell you the truth, I’ve not thought about it a great deal. Thats not to say I’m not over the moon, but I’m not the sort of person who gets all emotional very easily.

That being said, I have started to worry about my unborn child.

It started the other night when I watched an episode of Glee in which they had a disabled character appear as Sue’s big sister. I’ve known people with Downs syndrome and other disabilities and it’s never been a problem for me. I believe that with love and support, everyone can lead a normal life. But it worried me. I felt the first twang of a worried parent. What if my child was born disabled in some kind? Then I rationalised that, although be EXTREMELY difficult, it wouldn’t change a thing of how much I’d love and support it. I guess every parent feels this way and it was strange knowing the feeling of wanting to protect my child for the first time!

I thought nothing of it, an emotional blip on my radar of hard-bastardness and put it down to being tired. But then it happened again this morning.

I receive an e-mail everyday from the BBC with the day’s headlines (an e-paper I like to think of it) and the main story was of the re-imprisonment of Jon Venables, one of the evil duo who brutally murdered James Bulger back in 93 (apologies to non-UK readers). It appears the scum has been returned to prison on “breach of his license”.

Basically, for those international readers, back in 93 two 10-year-old boys abducted a 2-year-old toddler from a shopping centre in Liverpool, took him to a set of train tracks and brutally murdered him using metal bars and bricks. They were sentenced to life but were released in 2001 (got to love our justice system), given new names and identities and got to live out the rest of their lives in secret (even speeding fines get put on your record, not these scum).

So now he’s back where he belongs (albeit it on a technicality, but that’s how they caught Capone!). I doubt he’ll be there long. Those sort of bastards always manage to survive and live. But it did make me feel so terrible for poor James’s mother. Not only was her son taken from her and murdered in such a barbaric way, but she has to live with the knowledge that her sons killers are free. Part of their license is they are not allowed anywhere near Merseyside, but how can this be policed? That poor mother lives with the knowledge she could bump into her sons killers at any time and be face to face with evil.

Midway reading the piece, my stomach sank. What if I ever lost my child? A brief moment of fear spread through me and the parental feeling of protect came over me. It was a strange feeling. I’ve never cared that much about anything before, but I knew for a brief moment, that I’d do anything to protect my own.

I’m sure these feelings will get stronger and it feels so alien to a self-proclaimed “cold heart emotional retard” to feel this passionately about anything. Feels quite nice though.

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