On Alert

On Alert

One of the most consistent experiences for me in parenting is having the sense of being “on alert”.

For sixteen years I’ve been on alert for threats and danger. For signs of sickness. For hints about emotional health. For clues about relationships. For indications of academic progress and needs. For important identity markers. For good deals on stuff!

What began as “Are they getting enough nutrition from my breastmilk?!” has evolved just this week into “Will they make sound decisions and come home intact from prom?!”

Perhaps the alertness is because I’m their gestational parent. Perhaps it’s merely my personality. Perhaps it’s practice and discipline.

Whatever the reason, though, these parenting years have sharpened my attention to certain stimuli. They have also helped hone my ability—still imperfect though it is—to discern what is truly important and what is not.

Perhaps I’ve chosen, one way or another, to remain on alert. After all, some parents are far less concerned with the things that capture my attention. Others are much more attentive to many more things. But I do know that, parent or not, choosing to care for others increases one’s sensitivity and motivates one to be more on alert—especially for potential harm and for opportunity to defend against harm.

So, as a parent of children with uteruses, this week’s leak of Supreme Court Justice Alito’s draft opinion—suggesting a likely end to federal protection of legal abortion—has me on high alert for threat to the liberty, agency, and health of these children and of all humans in the U.S.

And in this moment—as in all moments of parenting—it helps to know I’m not alone, and that there are actions I can take to mitigate the threat and the fear.

Many thanks to Robin Slaw (who shares resources in the UUCC Family Support Group) and Valerie Hsu and others for keeping us posted about how we can contribute and connect. Here are just a few resources that you might appreciate, as I do:

Donate to your local abortion fund to shore up access to abortions in areas where rights are protected:

Follow these organizations for ongoing action, advocacy, demonstrations, and more:

Read these resources to become better equipped to talk with children about these issues:

I welcome you to add resources to this list.

And I thank you for your faithfulness as we challenge each other to live our values and act together for justice in the world.

Faithfully on alert,
Paige

One Comment

  1. Kathy Parker

    Thank you for openly bringing this topic to our attention, Paige. It’s a hard one for any of us to avoid this week. The Court decision did not have to go as far as it did, and it might be that in the end it won’t. Meanwhile, we have a lot to consider – for ourselves and for our country — thoughtfully, as well as with determination — as to how we move forward. I will check out the links to the resources you posted.

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