In 2010, we moved our families, my two girls from Washington to Florida and my parents from Mississippi to Washington, D.C. We had a girl named Malia, and we were worried about what this meant for her first couple of years of life.

We were nervous, right? But we weren’t alone. There’s a great sense of dread that concerns couples who don’t have children: Are we going to be able to raise them in a city where everything is out there, where they’ll get overwhelmed and overwhelmed? It’s enough to put you in a fetal position.

We often wonder how our children are doing now, and we do all the responsible things. We monitor their behavior, talk to them to see what kind of adults they’ll be, and try to help them make good choices. But we also think of our girls every time I hit a big event, like going back to work. I think of them as if they were just three days old. So this idea of taking an entire life in your hands and completely ignoring it — and what we’re dealing with now, this insane election cycle — kind of awakens the ghost of what it was like in the 1970s when I was growing up. It’s hard to keep your own feet on the ground when it seems like we’re becoming an insatiable madhouse.