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The Google Monster

There is a device you can affix to a car that only allows it to start after you blow into a breathalyzer to make sure you're fit to drive. (No, no, not on MY car. Stick with me for a second...) There should be something on computers and phones that detect that a woman has recently become the mother of newborn. And it should block all access to Google. Especially past midnight. This is the brilliant, self-preserving idea that came to me recently just after I googled the sequence of phrases: “baby weird breathing noises, normal for babies to breathe rapidly?, baby STOPS breathing, fastest route to emergency room.” Ah yes, the all-consuming terror that accompanies the newborn days. (In actuality, there is a vast amount of terror that precedes the birth of a child. Namely, in my case at least, the fear of natural childbirth. Fortunately, I believe that fear will pay in the form of a hot-tub - the one I will purchase with the prize money from America’s Funniest Home Videos with this little piece that showcases my aversion to a drug-free delivery.) So you have a baby. You're a mother. The hospital sends you on your way with a few key pieces of information: lay the baby on it’s back, always put them in a backward facing carseat, do not shake the baby. And they give you a pack of diapers. With this, you are equipped for parenting. You sign the paper noting the baby’s name (Which you’re still not sure you like. The name. Not the baby. You like the baby.) and they let you waltz right out of there. But no one has you check the box on the form that says you understand you will now live in abject terror of every little thing. I’m talking wake from a dead sleep certain your baby has stopped breathing but being too afraid to check because what if it’s true kind of fear. Then you poke (not shake) the baby, who proves he’s indeed very much alive and cries for the next hour to make sure you don’t forget. I remember thinking how happy I’d be when I wouldn't have to worry about kick-counting, or the fear the ultrasound would show something was wrong. I thought I’d feel so much safer when he was on the other side of me. But the first thing I said when he was born was, “Is he ok?” And I feel like I haven’t stopped asking that question over the subsequent 5 and half years and two more little babies. The symbiotic relationship of love and fear in motherhood was not on my radar. The love I was expecting. When I held my first boy for the first time, love swept over me like a big wave I had seen coming but still couldn't believe how huge it was when it hit me. But there's this fear, too. And there are monsters everywhere. Forget the ones under the bed. There are monsters bigger than I can fight in a dark Cleveland house, at the Boston Marathon, in a school in Connecticut. And I wonder, “How do I keep my boys safe?” when the hurt can't be fixed with a first aid kit or a long hug and shhhhhhhh until it's ok. Recently, I’ve begun to divulge my crazy fears to friends. Like the night before my husband left for a business trip, I took pictures of him holding the boys because I was certain it was his last moment with them. And then when he kissed me goodbye in the dim bedroom before his early flight, I thought, “Oh what an awkward last kiss” when his lips landed on my eyeball. When my friends shoot back things like, “I called my husband 34 times in 15 minutes because he was unexpectedly late” the funny thing is that the fear lifts. Fear can be isolating or it can be shared... and like the monster that's just a shirt on a hanger, it's often gone once you shed some light on it. The thing about fear, it’s not permanent. Life is made up of moments that surpass fear. Love came to supersede fear, and to unite us with our children, and to give the gift of forever. Fear loses. Always. When my baby is crying, he stops when I draw closer, sometimes simply when he just hears my voice. The trembling lip slows, his breath eases - and he is at rest. I know about monsters, yes. But I also know the great Monster Slayer - and when He draws close, comfort comes. There's nothing I need to Google tonight. I don't have a free hand; I have a baby to hold.

The Google Monster 5/31/2013 0 Comments

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