I often wonder if I will ever be out of the woods when it comes to my level of worry for the well-being of my children. I think I already know that answer to that, and it is "no!"
When my babies were born, my worry developed right away. I worried about whether they had enough to eat. I worried about the way they were breathing,or not breathing, while sleeping. As they grew I worried about their development. Could they hear me? Could they see OK? Did that vaccine affect them in the wrong way? When those questions were answered, I moved onto more worry. Is my house baby-proofed enough? Where is she! - that split second you don't see them at your feet in the department store? Then there is the worry of safety - car seats, crossing the street, sunburns and falling.
The fall I have been fearing and feeling for weeks took place last night when my baby launched over the back of the couch and onto the floor. Thank God (thank GOD!) nothing went wrong. I don't know how she got away without even a bump (and I don't want to know how). I'm just beyond grateful that her long-lasting tears were from her being scared, not harmed.
I mentioned I've been fearing and feeling this fall. The girl has been relentless when it comes to this couch. I've tried being strict to keep her down. I've tried ignoring it to keep her down. I've tried being funny to keep her down. My radar has been solid when she is within two feet of getting up onto this couch....every night except last night. Wouldn't it be the very one time that I am preoccupied with something else, assuming that she is not on that couch, that this time something goes wrong.
My gut was just sunk all last night over this. Thankfully we've been very blessed to not have had to endure any real trauma with either of our children. They have been so healthy and injury free. Maybe this is in part because someone "up there" knows that I don't cope well with worry.
When my baby fell, I raced to her and held her as tight as I could. I didn't go to any real extremes, like calling 911 immediately. I can try to access the situation a little bit. But I couldn't stop looking at her, checking her out and filling myself with worry. Thank goodness my husband was home though. He is very calm and logical and very able to handle these situations. It drives me nuts, this worry of mine.
I used to work with this woman who had teenagers. We weren't really friends, just co-workers. She knew I had children but didn't know anything about them. One day during a casual conversation she said, "you have children, right?" I said yes. She asked how many, girls or boys, their age. I told her I have two girls. My girls were around six months and two and a half years old. At that time, my worry was an upcoming doctor visit and my older daughter was getting bit at the day-care by another child. Those were my worries. When I told her the ages of my girls, her response was, "ohh, you've got little kids. Little kids equals little problems, little worries. I've got older kids. Bigger kids equals bigger problems, bigger worries. It only gets worse."
This conversation just floats around in my head time to time. I think to myself, thanks a lot, Lady! It wasn't in so many words, but what I essentially heard her saying to me was, "good luck, you'll be worrying your whole life....and welcome to the wonderful world of parenting!"
So I guess I have no choices here. I signed up for this. And most days, it is all that I hoped for and way, way more. When it comes to worry, though, I better just buck up...and hang on for the ride. The good news is that I do enjoy riding roller coasters; and this ride appears to be the biggest, tallest, fastest and scariest one of them all.