Remember my "What if" from yesterday that touched on the violence in Mexico? Remember how confident and level-headed I seemed?? Well........
So, this morning I was looking at an expat forum, and read a horror story about these two older couples who were beaten terribly and robbed and all but left for dead, written by an expat living in Guanajuato. It was extremely disheartening and really fear-inducing, the kind of post that makes you second guess yourself in deciding to move to Mexico. As I sit here at my computer in our little house in Minnesota, looking out the window at the snow, a product of a weather system that has proven itself to be psychologically unbearable for us (can you say "Seasonal Affective Disorder??), I weigh our options. I think of our son, who will be starting kindergarten in the fall. The long, ugly, ranting, ominous warning of a post from that expat resonates in my brain and conjures up unspeakable scenarios in my mind.
Geez. It sort of gets me PO'd that she wrote that post. But am I annoyed because I think she is just a bitter gringa who regrets her decision and wants to sour everyone else's milk, or is it because she's fostering the very doubts that I've had floating around in my mind and I don't want my hopes of a new life to be shot down? I think of possible dangers that could befall us, but I don't know if I'm just getting myself all worked up for no good reason, or if I should heed her warning and rethink our decision.
I absolutely, unequivocally, LOVE Mexico. The time that I spent living there back in the mid-90s was just wonderful; life-changing. I want my son to experience it, to soak in the culture so that he will identify with that part of himself in a deeper way than just eating at the local Mexican restaurants or participating in the community-sponsored Latino events here in Minnesota. But I don't want this immersion experience at the expense of his safety. Will his light-brown hair and my blue eyes make us moving targets for kidnappers? We definitely have no monetary advantages to entice any criminals, but maybe they won't realize that. I mean, according to this gringa in Guanajuato, we should be looking over our shoulders at every turn. I hope she knows what kind of fear a post like that can induce in a person. To be fair, much of what she said in her post was true; she not only wrote of dangerous situations in Mexico but also of the potentially uncomfortable situations that a more, shall we say, pampered gringo would suffer. But I'm not worried about avoiding drinking tap water or watching our step on the cobblestone sidewalks. My main concern is that we would suffer some sort of violence.
We can't continue the lifestyle we've been living here. A change is absolutely necessary. I am not going to give up on our ideals where our family is concerned. I feel it in my bones; my son is in store for a culturally rich life and broadened horizons. I don't feel like staying here is the right thing to do. At least not for now. So what do I do about these fears?