With due deference to Larry David, here are a conservative's insomniac thoughts after a nightmare that the President announced he would cave into the anti-war view and cut and run from Iraq.
Gosh, was that real? No … no … that’s not what the President said, thank God. It was a nightmare -- but it felt real. The Fox news logo, the ticker running below the President’s face as he tried to summon that Will Ferrell expression of cockiness. We have decided the best course for America is the immediate withdrawal of our troops from the region. The liberal commentators, they looked so gleeful. Not happy gleeful. Gleeful the way a wolf’s eyes sparkle when it has its prey within reach. What time is it? Two a.m. The baby hasn’t woken up yet. Maybe she’ll sleep through this feeding? Maybe she’ll sleep through the night….?! I remember feeding her that first time in the hospital. Her little jaw was working away on me and I’m thinking, This one's a wartime baby. Just like World War Two. The President was on my hanging TV, making some speech covered by CSPAN—what was it? Doesn’t matter. There’d been another terrible bombing. Here’s my little girl, so perfect, so oblivious, and this is the world she’s entering. Funny, I wasn’t scared or angry. I realized I had to accept this just as other generations have had to accept much worse. My mother was a year or two younger than our son when the Blitz was going on. What was that like? Kids don’t see wars as nuanced events. They want to know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. And they’re not wrong. In World War Two it was pretty clear. And in this war too you’d think it’d be pretty clear. The bad guys, son, are the ones who flew planes into buildings. The bad guys are the ones who use God’s name to justify blowing up perfectly innocent bystanders. The bad guys are the ones killing not only our troops but their very own people who are trying to make a bad society good, a tyrannical society free, an unsafe region safe—not just for themselves but for everyone, including you and your sisters. Everything our guys are doing thousands and thousands of miles away matters to this new baby. To the world she’ll know at 10, 20, 50, and, God willing, 90. Why can’t They see that? Why are They more threatened by the the law-abiding Christians of America than those who make Jihad upon us? Who enslave and kill women, minorities, gays—all the groups They are always claiming to stand up for? Where was Their outrage when that woman in Iran was being strung up from a crane after being “convicted” for “adultery”? And why don’t we hear more from the media about the truly outstanding courage being shown by women in Iraq--those tough broads who shamed their husbands into going to the polls with them? Or about the city councillors and all those others at the local level who are having their houses and their families shot up just because they’re trying to bring democracy and fair justice systems to their neighborhoods? Maybe because so many of the journalists are reporting the war from their hotel rooms, and all they see and hear are the explosions a few blocks away. Wow, I’m sweating. I'd better calm down. It just makes me so frustrated. What time is it now? 2:12. She’s still asleep. I wonder whether I can persuade him to do the next feeding. That wouldn’t really be fair, I guess. I’m wide awake now, and he’s so deeply asleep. Why do fathers always sleep so soundly? He’s like a soldier. He can nod off even when all hell is breaking loose around him. But if I get out of bed I might not get back to sleep until the 6 a.m. wake-up call. Then I’ll have no sleep, period, and I’ll be like a zombie for the rest of the day. Thank goodness it’s the summer and I don’t have to get up and make lunches. I hate making lunches. It’s breakfast and you’re already running a short-order kitchen for two kids and a baby. On top of it, they’re like, "Have you seen my math homework?" "Where are my shoes?" You’re turning the bacon in the frying pan and watching the toaster and meanwhile tallying how many times you’ve made peanut butter that week and whether it’s turkey’s day in the box. The bread’s a little stale and you’re hoping they won’t notice because they’re just kids and they’ll eat dirt for goodness’ sake. I think women would make good generals because that’s what we do everyday: We carry the whole battle around in our heads. We’re constantly plotting and refining maneuvers. Janie’s got to get to ballet by three thirty and Sam’s violin lesson is at 3:45 twenty minutes from the ballet lesson. So what I’ll do is pack the ballet stuff and the violin in the car in the morning so I don’t forget them after school, drop Janie off early, get Sam to violin, then double back and get Janie who’ll be done by then, pick up Sam on the way home, and be back in time to relieve the sitter, feed the baby and get dinner on. Yeesh, for this I got my MBA? Maybe I couldn’t do this without my MBA. You need it to run a modern household. My friend Helen makes spreadsheets for her family. It's too much for her brain to cope with. When I was pregnant that first time with Janie I was terrified my brain was going. My husband would be talking, you know, about the news or something, and I’d be nodding but thinking, Should I use bleach to wipe down the new crib? Can’t be too sterile. It was really scary until I learned that the brain always kicks out around the seventh month of pregnancy and doesn’t return until you’re finished nursing. Even then it doesn’t come back the same way. It’s like a new computer. Your memory space is more full but you can run many more programs simultaneously. Geez, 2:47. She’s still asleep! I wish I was. But then I’ve got to remember how lucky I am. Here I am worrying about my sleep and that’s all they want to do over in Iraq too. Lives in which they wake up and make lunches and worry about ballet lessons and making ends meet. Right now Iraq is like a giant roach motel, sucking in all the terrorists of the region, and we’re picking them off. But it’ll take time, just like the President said. We can’t just cut and run …. Oops, there she goes. The cry over the radio.
"Honey? Hon? The baby. Would you …?"
Just what a Dad wants at 3 a.m. –- to be woken up to feed the baby....
Follow Danielle Crittenden on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dcrittenden1