Friday, March 1, 2013
Even though today is March 1st, and I should be focused on lions and lambs perhaps, my thoughts are with hearts, which might be considered more February in nature (well, it was just yesterday!). Of course, February 14th is heart-related in a Hallmark way. And the American Heart Association went with this theme apparently when launching the Go Red For Women campaign and making National Wear Red Day on the first Friday in February each year (see www.goredforwomen.org) to increase awareness about heart disease as it affects women (also a topic of one of my favorite articles that I wrote in my magazine days). But this week my 12-year-old son experienced chest pain while at school, and that got me to thinking about his heart...and the saying about your heart walking around outside your body once you have a child. Thankfully, it seems that the pain is not heart-related after all, but that hasn't helped mine feel too much better yet. I certainly don't want my son in pain. It's scary and frustrating. Being told by trusted doctors and nurses that it is most likely some inflammation that should not be cause for alarm, I am cautiously grateful...and enormously cognizant of how many parents get worse news, and my heart aches for them. I try to focus on the dance at my daughter's elementary school this evening; it was the Valentine's Dance rescheduled, so there were lots of hearts and red and pink. Lots of happy kids dancing and eating cupcakes (not fans of my blog, I suppose). Lots of weary parents wishing for some alcoholic beverage to make the time more bearable. Yes, I tell myself, think about conversation hearts and the sticky, sweet version of Happy Hearts Day. But my thoughts keep returning to the fragility of hearts, and to heart disease, heart attacks, heartbreak... Ultimately, as a parent, you want to protect your kids, yet life seems to continually remind us that you have no control, really, in doing that. I suppose the best we can do is try to teach our children how to keep their hearts healthy...in every sense, by making healthy choices about food, people, their community, the environment. A daunting task. Not for the faint of heart.