I faced a fear today.
About half a mile from my home is a large urban park with fountains, trees, green spaces, populated by geese and ducks, pigeons and seagulls. It’s close to a first-class public library. It’s a walkable distance to get there and would make a great daily walk destination. Except… to get there requires crossing a not-quite highway called an expressway. These are six-lanes (both ways) with extra lanes at intersections for turning, and with no-stop right-turn merge curves that many people hardly slow down while taking. Oh, there are crosswalks and pedestrian lights. However, the stated speed limit is 45 miles per hour, and I know people easily drive 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. I’ve crossed the road on my bike, but until today I was terrified to walk with Claire in the stroller (or even by myself). Well, terror might be an exaggeration; let’s just say prospect made me very uneasy. I mean, would you feel comfortable crossing this?
When I started the walk I didn’t plan to go. My feet just took over. Except for the right-turn curves — where I made sure to look thrice and wait for oncoming drivers to slow down, see me, and wave me across — it was easily done. I will never attempt this at dusk, dark, or dawn, but I could see us taking walks there more frequently. I suppose I could load the stroller in the car and drive to the park, and save all the walking for the many paths, but a) it seems like a lot more effort and b) it kind of galls me to drive half a mile to take a walk. If you were me, what would you do?
Wednesday was a very hard day with Claire (for me) — it started out with her cheerful. But her erratic eating, overstimulation, inability to sleep, more colicky crying late in the day put her over the top with exhaustion, but she could not find a way to sleep (despite all the usual that we do). Every day is variable. Keeps me on my toes. On days like this (and the past couple have been a little choppy) I feel anxiety. Just when I start feeling competent, things change. I guess this is parenting!