Having kids changes everything about your life. It even changes the way your brain works.
Last night I was flipping through the channels and watched a 9/11 documentary compiled from random people who were in Manhattan and happened to have their video cameras handy. As they showed masses of people fleeing, I scanned the crowd for children (thankfully lower Manhattan is not a great place for kids).
When the I heard about the Virginia Tech shootings, my very first thought was, "Those are someone's babies!" And I tried to comprehend how one would deal with losing a child in the prime of their life to such a senseless act of violence.
As I watched the passengers standing on the wings of Sully's plane floating on the Hudson, I wondered how many babies or toddlers were on board, and how their mothers were keeping them calm and safe and what I would do if something like that happened to me with my kids.
I've never been the most sentimental mom, and I'm not one of those mothers who lays awake at night trying to think of bad things that could happen to their child. So I'm sometimes taken aback at what a fundamental shift in my thought process all this signifies. It's one thing to think, "Well, I'm not going to go bungee jumping, since I have babies to take care of now," and another to feel these instinctual urges coming almost subconsciously.