Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fear and Loathing in LA

We got to the airport early, in case of super long lines at security, because of the new scanners. Instead we had the shortest line possible; the person in front of us was through before we had everything in the tubs, and there were no new machines in sight. Walker and I had discussed what we were going to do if we had to go through them. He planned to opt for the full pat down. If it was just me, I would also opt for that too, since I would like to make things as difficult for the TSA as possible, and I really don't care if a security agent gropes me.
The choice for Moira was more difficult. We can't even ask her opinion about it yet, since she doesn't really understand choices yet. We just started explaining about private areas and that she gets to do decide who touches her and how, with the exception of her doctor and diaper changes. I'm not happy with the idea of increasing her cancer risk either. Of course, every flight we take with her is worse then any of the security scans being used. The most likely risks are for people with family histories of cancers that don't run in either of our families, so we decided that she would go through. And where she goes, I follow.
We seem to have worked out a system that keeps me from getting too anxious before our trips. I'm always worried that we will be late for things, and Walker likes to finish packing at the last minute. Airports double that anxiety for me because I worry that our flight will be early, or that they will change our gate without announcing it. (That actually happened to me once. Fortunately, I figured it out 10 minutes before takeoff.)
I have smaller amounts of this anxiety whenever I'm supposed to meet people. It usually makes my friends who run late feel bad, and they never seem to believe that I don't mind. I would much rather show up first so that they have to find me then be late and have to find them. I am certain that if I'm not first, I won't be able to find anyone. Historically, this has not proven true, but I can't shake the fear.
These anxieties, along with my fear of hospitals and dentists are things I would rather not pass along. I worry out of all sense of proportion now that Moira has started refusing to play places where there are large groups of kids. She clings to my leg when the receptionist at the chiropractor's office says hello, and she's seen her almost once a week for the last year. She looks at playgrounds full of kids and asks to go home. I know this is a normal stage. It doesn't mean that she will always feel out of place in a group. If I can be patient and help her get comfortable every time, it will help her learn to navigate these situations when she's older. Instead, every time it happens, the inside of my head is screaming at her to stop hiding.
I cannot assume to know what she is like, and what she will be like when she's older after knowing her for only 2.5 years. I don't think I can ever really know her completely. Her mental world is not the same as mine, and I need to remember to let her truth be hers and not mine.

1 comment:

  1. I've come to the same conclusions about the tsa screenings. Did Walker get the pat-down then? Was it substantially different from the old pat-down routine?