The Worry

It’s Friday and the boys and I have been in the US for almost one week. Three weeks left of our month-long visit to our stateside-based family. This is so cliché but, really, where does the time go? We arrived Saturday evening and, in a seeming blink of an eye, it’s Friday. The days have been full of the typical catch-up with doctors and other errands, as well as, thankfully, time with family.

Speaking of family, tomorrow I head to Chicago with our oldest to put him on a plane that will carry him to his first summer camp. That will last three weeks. In another state. That is not near the state where I will be.

Ask me if I am having second thoughts about signing him up.

I am at the point, as I pack his bag – my hand lingering over the fleece blanket I bought him (is it soft enough?), the alarm clock (that is definitely not loud enough to wake my son who sleeps as if he has no sense of hearing…need to hit the store again for something a bit louder…as in sonic-boom-loud), the freshly laundered shorts, shirts, etc. – that I am thinking exactly this:

WHY THE HELL DID I SIGN HIM UP FOR CAMP?

Actually, what I am really thinking is:

WHY THE HELL DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?

AGAIN.

Because this is not the first time I have done this. This allowing one of my children to go somewhere away from me where I can worry about them.

Even more than I already do.

Because the Worry? The Worry starts from Day 1 when you find out you are pregnant.

And never ceases.

When you commit to having a child, you commit to the Worry:
“Do you take this Worry to have and to hold, from this day forward…’til death do you part?”

I did. I do. I will.

When you start thinking of having children, you don’t think about the Worry you are inviting into your life.  You think about the cute baby you will have, the adventures you will share, the love you will heap upon him or her. You do not think about The Worry.

But the Worry is part and parcel of one of the greatest journeys a human being can embark upon (and, yes, also one of the most challenging, scary journeys…basically not that dissimilar to a make-yourself-sick-laugh-scream-cry-whoop-turnyourhairgray extreme rollercoaster ride).

And why?

Because from the day that your child comes into existence, you are, forever after, vulnerable.

VULNERABLE.

Whatever happens to that child, good or bad, you experience as if it were happening to you.

Raised to the, oh, thousandth power.

Which is why, after my son was born and we arrived home with him for the first time, I sat on the couch holding our precious bundle of joy and bawled my eyes out. I had just realized this very thing. I was vulnerable. Big time. Life was never going to be the same again.

Of course, it’s worth it. Without a doubt. There is a reason why children are called “a gift.” What they add to your life cannot be replicated by anything else. And you want to give them the world on a platter. With a cherry on top.

Which is why I have done this to myself yet again, consigned myself to sending my baby away from me – in a metal flying tank no less – that I pray fervently and often (about every 10 seconds of every waking minute) will carry him safely to his destination and to another experience…an experience from which he will learn and grow…an experience that will arm him with that much more knowledge and living…an experience to be added to all the other experiences and living that have led up to today…so that he will have the best start that we can give him…so that he may, when he flies away from the proverbial nest, be able to live, to the best of his being, this incredible journey called life.

With a cherry on top.

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