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by Pam Payne
I'm going to join the "I'm late" bandwagon. It's barely still the 15th here in my world, but I just got home a little while ago from taking the youngest to the airport. She's headed back to college, back to her new life away from her family. And yes, I cried. I always cry when I send one of my kids off to school. It's a mother thing.
I was thinking about Jenna's sister-in-law (see the Superheroine article on the Wet Noodle Posse website), and thinking about how much I admire, not only Jenna's sister-in-law, but her mother-in-law too. My youngest has that type of giving heart, wanting to help the less fortunate, but I'm guilty of trying to talk her out of it. Not because I don't think she'd be great at it, and fulfilled by it, but because I'm afraid. Afraid she'll get hurt, afraid she'll get sick, afraid she won't get to come back home.
My whole life I've been afraid. Not of things I can see, so much, as by the "what ifs." It's a side-effect of having an over-active imagination. It's part of what makes me a writer, that inability to turn my brain off and not think of all the things that could possibly happen. Yes, one of them might actually occur, but the chances are probably a lot smaller than my imagination leads me to believe.
So how do you turn off that imagination and let your kids go? Let them take risks with their safety, their emotional well-being? Do you just make yourself stop caring? I don't think so. There has to be a way to draw the line between coming up with endless crises for our fiction and letting them spill over into our personal relationships.
Until I figure it out, I stand in awe of Jenna's mother-in-law, that she's found a way to let her little bird fly and make such a difference in children's lives.