The Daddy Instinct

People warned me, before the birth, of the immense love for my progeny that would envelop me. They said you won’t ever have experienced any love like it, you’ll see. And, they warned me, you’ll become crazy protective; you will make any sacrifice when your child is ill or in danger, and you will start to feel more emotional about all children, generally.

This is all true, of course. I suppose you could call it love but you could also call it a furious protectiveness. It’s an anxiety-inducing awareness of vulnerability. The funny thing is, people describe this as a wonderful thing. And yes, feeling love for your child is enjoyable, but this mad emotionalism is also a slightly scary thing. It’s a form of madness.

For example, when I heard, a few weeks ago, about the lady in Winnipeg who was caught smashing an infant’s head against the pavement – the infant was severely injured but saved – my rational brain told me that this woman was obviously mentally disturbed and should be treated by physicians. This rational thought was quickly overwhelmed by a very strong desire to have that woman executed in a public square, preferably right that second.

And this is a good thing to feel? I don’t know why we privilege the emotional over the rational; I kind of regret a cool-headed detachment. And I suspect I will never have it ever again.

Image courtesy of annzstream on Flickr.

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