July 22, 2008

Pride Overcomes Anxiety

I would like to share something I wrote in 2001 to a Salon group:

"My 28-year-old daughter has just accepted a summer internship in Rwanda. Seven years ago, a million people were killed in three months in the worst genocide since the Holocaust. She is getting a master's degree in international affairs at Columbia, specializing in human rights, transitional justice, and Africa. If she wasn't going to Rwanda, she would have gone to the Congo. I am fiercely proud of her. But I worry about how to handle my fears as she goes from one world flash point to the next. I want to support her, not burden her with my anxieties. I would like to share experiences and ideas with other mothers of children whose idealism and dedication take them into danger. "

Learning not to burden my daughters with my anxieties is a lifelong struggle. But my anxiety is not nearly as great as my pride:
The daughter whom I was so worried about, co-edited this new book, which got excellent reviews and is being ordered for international relations classes throughout the country. I am proud that I figured out how to prevent my anxiety from clipping her wings.

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