Dear Person in Charge of Thoughts:
I would like to report a thought overage. I would imagine there is some sort of thought quota; if such a thing exists, I have exceeded it. I would like to discuss some of these thoughts.
You see, my thoughts tend to run away with themselves when they really get going. And what previously constituted a sound, calm and peaceful mind has grown into a derailed train, barreling toward a mountainside with one of those faux tunnels painted on it, like Road Runner vs. Wile E. Coyote.
These thoughts have a way of taking control, don’t they?
Sometimes they cower in the dark corners of your mind, hiding in the shadows and only hinting at their presence. Other times, they do the Charleston across the stage, with jazz hands and sequins, begging your attention. And, if your mind works like my mind, they often plant themselves firmly in the center of the room, directly in front of the television, during the season premiere of The Walking Dead. You cannot ignore them, and you cannot escape them.
These thoughts, they come from near and far. Some have followed me home from the office, scampering behind me like a lost dog, reminding me of X, Y and Z that needs to be accomplished ASAP; they are nagging, persistent, yipping thoughts. Others spring forth unexpectedly after seeing a familiar sight, smelling a certain smell, or hearing a melody you can’t quite place, but love; they are happy, pleasant, nostalgic thoughts. And there are some thoughts that have traveled a long way, from many, many years ago, to remind me of the things I had packed away so neatly, and stored on the top shelf of my mental closet, boxes that were tightly sealed and never to be opened. They are distressing, alarming, punch-to-the-gut thoughts.
Much like an old 8mm reel playing on a projection screen, these thoughts swirl without sound; they need no audio, their images are enough.
I supremely enjoy when the happy thoughts take over my mind. I am endlessly appreciative when the thankful thoughts show up, reminding me of the innumerable blessings in my life. But I am unnerved by the scary thoughts.
Once you become a parent, you become hyperaware of your thoughts; in many ways, those thoughts, especially the scary thoughts, apply in an even greater extent to your new chapter in life.
Those thoughts, they bring to light the complete importance of the person you have become…the one who loves, laughs, cherishes, teaches, nurtures, feeds, grows, encourages, celebrates and, most importantly, protects this tiny person.
Dear Tiny Person whom I love more than can be fathomed into words, my promise to you is this: I will fiercely love and protect you, always. Especially from The Thoughts.