I may have said something that upset my wife the other day. Okay, I definitely said something that upset her. We were watching one of our many Sci-Fi shows together and one of the protagonists ran out of a safe area to save his girlfriend knowing that his odds of saving her were about the same as winning the Power Ball Lotto.
My wife asked me if I would do the same for her in that exact circumstance and I said, “No, that’s too much of a risk. Who would take care of Elly if we both died?”
I went on to explain that if there was a good chance I could rescue her I would, but otherwise no because I couldn’t risk letting my daughter grow up without at least one of her parents.
That got me thinking, have I turned into some sort of a “scaredy cat” (I edited out no less than four derogatory versions of that term before settling on the only P.C. one I could come up with) ever since Elly came around?
I mean, before Elly I really didn’t seem to care much for my physical well-being. I was always the kind of person who would speak out whenever they saw some injustice in the world. I worked as a reporter in college—I’m the “web guy” now—and I’d always be the first person to volunteer for the “risky” stories. I’d go places I technically wasn’t supposed to go; heck, I tried to get in to Cole Hall after the NIU shootings to confirm if the shooter was still a threat (I was a student reporter at the time and I lived in the building next to where the shootings happened). Did I care if I died or got hurt? Yeah, of course, but I was willing to put aside my own safety for a cause I believed in—mainly doing what I could do to find out if the thousands of people standing around the crime scene should be afraid for their lives.
I don’t really like to boast about my courageous (see the dictionary definition for reckless) acts in the past, but they stand in sharp contrast to the question my wife asked me.
Maybe I haven’t gone soft though. Replace the person in the hypothetical question with my daughter and the answer would change to a resounding “yes.” I’ve come to realize that my paternal instincts to protect the wellbeing of my child extend to my own well being. I wouldn’t take an investigative assignment that could put my family at risk anymore—a dilemma I avoid by being the “web guy.”
Do you find yourself leaning more towards a safe life-style now that you’re a parent?