It’s always something. Today it was the story written on the passing of little Kyle St. Clair and his lifelong battle with a rare and puzzling medical condition. It didn’t have to be this story. It could have just as easily been a song or some commercial for laundry detergent. It could have been anything, because it’s always going to be something.
I have never been in complete control of my emotions. I’m passionate, excitable, hot-headed, overly defensive and a bit of a drama queen. Still, before I was a father, I was a little more put together. I had no idea that I would change in this way after the birth of my son. More troubling is that as my relationship with him continues to grow stronger I think my condition is getting worse. Having a child allows me to identify with stories such as Kyle St. Clair’s in a way that I never would have before. I understand the bonds of family in a way previously impossible.
When the horrific shootings in Newtown, Conn. happened I was rendered completely useless for much of that day. Like millions of others, I sat glued to cnn.com and my Twitter feed, angry and scared. I went home that night and read stories to my son while trying not to tear up. The “old me,” while feeling terrible for those affected, would still have been able to function as a productive member of society. While the “new me” may as well have curled up in a ball and gone to bed.
It’s not just death and tragedy that get me all worked up. I can no longer read inspiring stories, watch the sentimental episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” listen to any country music, think about circus elephants, or look at old family photos.
I can only hope that this will pass and I can resume a normal adult life. You’ll know if it doesn’t because you’ll see me in a waiting room somewhere sobbing over an article in Parade. Please just push the Kleenex towards me and look the other way.
Oh, and for those of you who are reading this and can’t relate. Please watch this, it may just be the saddest commercial I have ever seen.