Morning nap, hair appointment, blue skies, sunshine. Perfect. But this great day changes. I am driving down the road, thinking about the afternoon appointment that Carleigh has. How we will be on the same stretch of road that Ethan will be taking on his way to school. In an instant, I am having flashes in my brain. Pictures of a car accident. My son’s car. An ambulance. Those daydreams…or day “mares,” that pop up out of the blue, and darken a mother’s day. There is no telling when these will come. It’s not often, but when they do, my heart sinks. I know it is not rational. I know it didn’t really happen, but just the thought of it is like a punch to the chest.
When Bill and I were first married I would have these about him. If he was late coming home, or wasn’t answering his desk phone. Of course, back then, we didn’t have mobile phones. The best we got was a giant corded phone you plugged into your cigarette lighter (with this revelation, I age myself, but it’s actually a result of the speed of technology.) He would go on a business trip, and the plane would get in late. It would be a long drive to the hotel. In my mind, accidents were happening. Plane crashes, car wrecks. I would work myself into a complete panic. Pacing the floor, crying. Waiting for his call. I knew it was absurd, but I couldn’t help it. Thank God for age, and the wisdom and experience that come with it. Remember, patience is a virtue that I did not have much of in my twenties.
When the kids were babies or toddlers, and “slept in.” A rare occurrence. I would go in to check on them. To see if they were still breathing. Instead of sleeping in myself or enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, I would be distracted by the reason WHY they weren’t up yet. Or late night coughing that suddenly quieted. Are they choking?! If they tripped, but caught themselves, I would think of what COULD have happened. They could have fallen down the stairs, off of the play structure. If they were walking behind me in a public place, and I wasn’t paying attention for a minute or two….they could have been kidnapped, walked out into the street. It was the fear of letting them down. The realization that even as a mom, I couldn’t always control what happened.
As the boys have grown into teens, Ethan less than a year from his twenties, I have even less control. I have to hope that we taught them well. That they will make good decisions. But I have no way to protect them from the other people out there. The ones who might not make good decisions. The reckless, the unlawful, the bat-shit crazy. I hope my kids can recognize a dangerous situations and get out before bad things happen. And if they can’t, I hope God will protect them for me.
Over the years, I have learned that worrying is a waste of time. Find a solution, if it’s possible. If not, wait. Soon enough the answer will come. There is no point worrying over something that you can do nothing about. Something that hasn’t even happened…..except in a mommy-mare.