just a spoonful of worry...

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.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on June 15, 2011 .