I used to think it would get easier as my children got older. The worrying I mean.
When I was carrying them in my womb, I would worry that there was something wrong...some unknown disaster waiting to happen. If I couldn't feel them moving around in there, I would rush to the doctor, certain they were in some sort of distress.
When they were born, I hovered over the crib listening to their breathing for hours on end, afraid to step away for fear that the moment I did, the breathing would stop. I read every baby book I could get my hands on, studying the risks and dangers to infants so I would be certain to avoid them.
As they grew, my fears changed but never really went away. I was afraid they would fall from a bicycle or a tree. Afraid they would wander off in the mall or the grocery store. Terrified of someone sneaking into the house at night to snatch them away.
I tried to keep my fears to myself. I didn't stop them from riding bicycles or learning to swim. I let them go on sleepovers with friends, trips to amusement parks, play in the waves at the beach. But in the back of my mind, I was always worried.
I told myself it was because they were children...that someday they would be grown, and I would be able to take deep breaths again and relax.
I'm certainly not there yet.
My youngest has a driver's license and a car. She has graduated from high school, but in my mind, she is still that little girl on the playground...climbing too high...running too fast.
I don't think it will ever get easier. Not when they slip so far out of my grasp as they grow. I think I will always want to keep them close, and safe, even when I know I can't.
I can only hope I taught them how to keep themselves safe, while at the same time enjoying what life has to offer.
Because you can't really take just a spoonful of worry...you always seem take the whole jar!
Until the next time...I'll be lying awake, worrying.