Warning: The following is not directly game or anime related, and might be a bit depressing.

I wanted to write something nice and fluffy about Love, and throw in some fun music. But I’ve got nothing in that vein, and some recent events near me instead brought up a different idea. A second warning, I’m sort of winging this here, semi-stream of consciousness, so it may be a little rough. I hope you’ll bear with me.

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Almost 4 years ago, I became a parent. After a slightly-troubled pregnancy and a complicated birth that was first induced labor, then C-section, my son was born relatively healthy. And I love him dearly (even on the days I want to strangle him).

But this new love in my life made changes in me I didn’t expect.

As I grew up, went to school, was in college and grad school (for quite a while), news items about killings and other events that weren’t close to me elicited mainly a “that sucks” reaction, before moving on with my life. I would feel bad for the victims and their families, but in a more abstract way. It was bad, and you know it was bad, but it didn’t immediately effect you, so you moved on.

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Now, as a parent, I have a much harder time reading / watching / hearing news stories about young children being hurt. I first realized this a little over 3 years ago, when I heard about the Sandy Hook school shooting while I was at work, and I wanted to do nothing more than just go home and hold my son (and wife) close, and never let go.

It continues today - I’ll see stories go by on Gawker or whatever, and I can tell right away if it’s something I want to read, or if it will make me sad. Stories that, back in my college and grad school days, I might’ve read without much of a blink, other than “that sucks”.

I was “inspired” for this post by an Amber Alert here in my area that started this weekend, when a father disappeared with his 21-month old daughter, and sent allegedly texts or emails or something saying he might harm himself and her. Worse, while the police found the father yesterday evening, they haven’t found the little girl yet. I know that this is a terrible sign, and my heart aches for the family.

Similarly - a family I knew when I was in grad school lost a young son 4 years ago suddenly to illness. And their heartbreak, even after all this time, is palpable. I see their grief, and I don’t even know what I would do if it happened to my son.

Anyway, I guess this brings me back to my header image. I watched the first episode of Erased, and I haven’t watched any more yet. It’s a hard show to watch, although I’ve just now realized in part what I think one of my issues with it is - as a parent, especially of a young child, these are some difficult themes to work through.

I want to end by throwing this out there for discussion - anyone else out there had this kind of transformation in what you can watch / read (about), either in real life or fiction? Did it happen due to parenthood, or something else (if you’re willing to discuss)? Either way, thanks for letting me vent a little here.