No sooner had I uttered the words "boring part of pregnancy" then things started getting a little interesting. Thanks to the wonders of ReplayTV, I have begun recording shows that I had once caught an episode or two of and thought were good, but never really got engaged. One of those shows is Futurama, which I am sorry to say that I have missed for all these years. Very, very funny. The other show is Third Watch. Now, the last thing I need to be doing is watching another crime drama. I've spent way too many hours watching the seemingly ever drunk Jack McCoy (I mean, come on, how can one person sound that drunk all the time? Larry Merchant maybe, but that's it. Trouble for Larry is that Sam Waterston is only acting.) to be spending any more time watching crime dramas. Third Watch though, for some reason, is a winner.
So I have ReplayTV recording Third Watch reruns on A&E, and the current story line includes a cop getting raped while on a sting operation. As I watched the story unfold, any other night prior to my wife being pregnant, I think I would have just accepted the departure from reality, and been engrossed in the show. Instead, just days from finding out if I am going to have a little girl or a little boy, I became enraged. I became extremely upset as the thought occurred to me that harm might come to my child. I wanted to reign horror and pain down on this fictitious perpetrator of unspeakable acts to my little girl (I'm still pretty certain we are having a girl).
This was a new place for me. I have always been a very protective person, in that if someone I love or care for is being harmed, I step in. Back in my more rambunctious college years, this stepping in involved bodily harm (read: bad results) to those harming my friends. I am not proud to admit it, but I view the injuries I caused merely as an unfortunate outcome from protecting those who were unable to protect themselves. At least I can say I never, EVER, threw the first punch. That said, I have not raised my fists in anger since college, and until the other night, thought I never again would. Instead, I find myself now exceedingly protective of my unborn child, and can think of nothing worse than harm coming to my Chickpea.
I cannot imagine how Jessica Lunsford's parents feel regarding the horrific act to which John Couey has admitted committing. Two weeks ago, I just felt bad for the family, as I perceived any citizen would. Two days away from finding out the sex of my child, and naturally beginning to think of Chickpea more of a person and not an "it," I am enraged. I am not sure how I am going to come to terms with these feelings as the pregnancy progresses, but I can say this: the man, Couey, wouldn't see jail in my world. He would see the inside of a barn with me and some unsavory characters, and he would not walk out. I do believe in the death penalty for grievous offenses, but I also believe that to some extent, those who should decide are those who have been directly harmed (i.e. the parents or husband of the deceased). Someone sneaks into my house and takes my little girl, sexually assaults her, and then kills her? Pain and terror cannot adequately describe his world once I got a hold of him, but that's me.
Again, I don't know how my protective feelings will change in the coming weeks, but this feels like my first introduction to what it feels like to be a parent. I don't ever want to be a hovering parent, and hope that we teach our kids to be smart about what they are doing, but bad things can still happen. That's the way it goes sometimes. In the end, I can only do so much, but this does make me want to figure out how to get more involved in at least making where I live and raise our kids more safe. This is new ground for me, and it is very unfamiliar. Frankly, these feelings make me very uncomfortable, more because I don't know how to handle them more than anything else, but I do hope they will make me a better parent.