When Leebie was first born, I was hit by this constant state of anxiety. I was always worried about something. Was she hungry? Did she eat too much? Did she eat too little? Was she tired? Did she sleep too much or not enough? Did I sleep enough? Was she gaining weight or losing it? Was she hitting her milestones? It was a completely new and foreign feeling to be so constantly worried over another person’s well-being. I kept thinking that when she gets older and stronger, and not quite so fragile and vulnerable, that I’d worry less about her every waking minute.
Boy was I wrong about that. Now I worry about things that I can’t control. Will she get sick? (We ARE experiencing a weather shift, and it will be getting much, much colder). I worry more because I see what can, and very often does, happen to children of all ages. Splinters, stitches, glue, staples (shudder), broken fingers, toes, arms, and legs. They fall, they get pushed, they get hit, and you can’t watch them ALL the time. What about when they’re at school? And you can’t put them in a bubble either.
They grow up, they become mobile, and they fall. A-LOT. And they bang into things. A-LOT. And then they get bikes, and roller blades, and skateboards, and scooters, and cars (G-d help me). You can’t keep them in helmets and knee pads and seatbelts ALL the time. Can you? Of course these things are bound to happen, they are kids after all, and they’re daring and curious, and all I can hope for is that my kids listen to me better than I listened to my mother and never ride their bike without a helmet.
I promised myself I would never be this person. I would never be this kind of mother. You know the kind I mean. The neurotic ones. The ones who bring their kids in to the doctor for every sniffle and minor cough. The ones who always imagine the worst possible outcomes. But I guess I should know better, this is just me, this is my personality, and at least I can admit it to myself. And isn’t admitting you have a problem the first step to recovery? What else can I do?