Some people are Master Gardeners. I am a Master Worrier. Just ask my kids.
Now that they are off at school, I don’t know what they’re doing unless they call and tell me. And every Master Worrier knows that the only thing better than having real things to worry about is creating imaginary things to worry about. This is my specialty. In fact, if there was a Hall of Fame for Moms Who Worry About Stuff That Will Never Actually Happen, I’d have my own statue. I would be holding bubble wrap.
When they were little, my worrying didn’t annoy them nearly as much as it does now. This is because they still thought I knew stuff and besides, let’s face it…. they didn’t have anyone to compare me to. Here is a partial list of the things I spent a great deal of time worrying about back then:
1. I worried on the first day of kindergarten that they would forget where they lived and not know when to get off the school bus and I’d never see them again.
2. I worried that if I let them “cry it out” at nap time that their heads would explode. I blame this particular neurosis on my grandmother who, in response to my sister’s assertion that “no kid ever died from crying too much” once glared at her and replied, “you don’t know that for sure” as she sided with her great- grandson about naps.
3. I worried that they would take candy from strangers, get kidnapped, shipped to another country, and sold into slavery where they would have to make tennis shoes for the rest of their lives.
4. I worried that they’d get worms from kissing the dog on the lips and/or eating raw cookie dough.
5. I worried that sending them to school when it was below zero would cause them to get frostbite on their cute little ears. And then I worried that the doctors would have a hard time finding replacement ear lobes.
6. I worried that instituting “quiet time” in their bedrooms when they were past the age of napping would make them hate being in their bedrooms.
7. I worried that they’d fall head first down the long flight of stairs in our house and end up with brain damage.
None of these things happened. They reached adulthood without crossed eyes, worms, or cavities. Their ear lobes? Fine. During the teen years, they almost never left their bedrooms. Seems kind of silly, right?
I’m pretty sure that having a Mother Who Worries Too Much is a major factor in why many kids leave home to go to college. After eighteen years they need a break. After all, when they are somewhere else, mothers like me have a harder time acting that nuts which must be a tremendous relief.
And so, these days, I’m left to try to imagine worst case scenarios on my own. This week, a video of a toddler in a park being picked up by an eagle and then dropped a few yards after take off was going around on the internet. It is a fake, I realize this.
But I have to admit. I’m still glad my kids are too big to get picked up by a giant bird. Because, well, you don’t know for sure that this couldn’t happen, do you? DO YOU?
And so it goes…..