i do not take my children for granted. i know i am their protector and, at least for now, their sacred soft spot to come home to. i take joy in their laughter, their discoveries, and their triumphs. i am also human. i fail everyday to do it right. i fail everyday at not trying to do it right, but trying to do it well enough. i end up doing it well enough, mostly. my perfectionism eats at me sometimes, overwhelms and drowns me in mountains of the unaccomplished, even the unseen or unknowingly wanted. my perfectionism keeps me going in fits and spurts as i make vain attempts at absolutely everything. and in my head, as i acknowledge this flaw that seeks to destroy me by building the impossible expectations, there, alongside it is the great list of all that i am not doing in and in many cases not even attempting. my perfectionism is a snake eating its tail - it is a failing among failings. and still i cannot ignore all that i want to do or should be doing. and alongside all my failings are all my worries. sometimes they overlap and sometimes they breed. my obsession with social concerns grows because i do know i am my children's protector and i have not yet found a way to protect them from the world. i stand in agony watching the nation polarize into opposite extremes, waiting for the expansion to result in collapse. i stand paralyzed by fear, waiting, waiting, waiting. i seek distraction in the endeavor for the middle class fantasy, in the guise of the modern, enlightened housewife, in the cloak of the eco-mom, as if style had anything to do with the philosophy. underneath it all i am merely terrified of what will happen when the infrastructure fails and the water runs out. it has been at least a year of this. this underlying anxiety that threatens to swallow my entire universe when the stress level creeps a bit higher. we are ever involved in the work for the future. we are constantly committed to moving ourselves forward, but in this year and in the history we've created and the experiences we've witnessed, it becomes increasingly difficult to know what the end is and to hold it in our sights. there was once an image. there was once a dream. i had a vision of what i wanted to be. and now, and now, and now... now i am not certain that i will achieve much of anything if the history of this nation continues on this path, if the history of this world persists as it is. when the stress of my life becomes so much, when my husband has failed at his greatest test and all the future is uncertain, amidst all these family deaths, and all this family strife, amidst sickness and mad attempts at eco-feminist versions of donna reed, amidst personal insult, amidst so much uncertainty and suspicions cast in my direction, amidst inner calls for change and cries for personal enlightenment, to change my future and create my day, when all this turmoil is tumultuous and threatening, i find myself oddly focused in every direction simultaneously and obsessed with what i can do to become anti-racist, with what more i can do to combat global warming and completely terrified not of avian influenza, not of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, not of terrorism, but of the real dangers my government and my fellow americans pose to the world and to ourselves in our thirst for fuel, in our quest for ikea-jizz, in our ever demanding levels of walmart ultimates. i find myself waiting for babylon to tumble. this becomes quite uncomfortable for some of my acquaintances. i apologize now for this. i doubt it will end. i believe now the accident resulted in my sustaining a certain level of anxiety that is now persistent and constant and which rises like a tide when outside stress stimulates it. for that i now fear for my children every day. i do not know how to circumnavigate it, nor do i know how to stop being just myself responding to normal levels of stress and the constant flux of moods that cause me to fail as a parent and not love my children perfectly every moment of every day. i do take joy though. sometimes i smile and sometimes i even laugh out loud. still, under my skin, there is a vibration, a constant unease that will not go away. i am doing what i can. i do not know any better.