For parents, the worry that never leaves

The mayor accepted it as if it were some precious gift.

"The child is truly innocent," Emanuel said slowly, spacing the words for emphasis, planting himself rhetorically on the side of the angels, "and that's my focus. I'll leave the law enforcement side to the law enforcement side."

Across the city, at the makeshift shrine for Jonylah, broken glass from the shooting was still on the mud of the parkway. Mary Young, Jonylah's grandmother, demanded that someone come forward. I asked her: Doesn't the father know who shot him and his daughter?

"Yes, he knows," she said.

Then why won't he talk to police?

"If you want to know that, then you should talk to the police," she said angrily. "You asked me a question about my grandbaby. Then you asked me a question about her father. If you want to know that, then you need to go to the hospital and ask him that question."

That's for detectives and lawyers and City Hall. And the question that parents want answered? It's this:

If you think there's a target on your back, why would you dare endanger your baby by being anywhere near her?

When your kids are born, most of us — obviously not all, but most — become different people. Scientists might explain it all away as a chemical reaction induced by pheromones.

But if you're a parent, you know you've been changed. It isn't about you anymore. It's never about you.

It's about them, the kids. Always. And you worry about them from the minute they leave your sight until they come home. And then you worry some more, as they sleep. You're a parent.

Twitter @John_Kass