Four years ago I “blogged the Inauguration”:http://www.polytropos.org/archives/2004/01/inauguration_da.html — I didn’t have a blog at that point, but it was exactly that sort of writing. And I always assumed I’d go back and do it again this time. I don’t think I will, largely because it’s super-cold here in D.C. and the snow that’s coming down today is probably going to be around tomorrow — not that I fear snow, but the area’s infrastructure for dealing with winter weather isn’t exactly up to northern standards. Throw in a baby and a stroller and snowsuit and blankets and crowds and security and it’s just not worth it.
But that’s not the interesting part. Even before I knew what the weather was going to be like, I was on the fence about going downtown tomorrow — not as just-me, but as a parent. Rate the likelihood of some sort of terrorist attack occuring in Washington tomorrow as extremely unlikely. Rate the likelihood of it being cataclysmic — suitcase nuke or other big bomb — stupendously unlikely. For those reasons, the risk/reward calculation for _me_ to go downtown is a no-brainer. But then what about Ella? There’s the issue of exposing her to the initial risk, plus the fact that if something should incite utter chaos, keeping her safe would be much harder than just keeping me safe. Even though the risk remains miniscule, the consequences if something should happen go through the roof.
Avoiding being ruled by fear is harder when it’s not you you’re afraid for. I’ll settle for being ruled by snow.