Saturday, November 15, 2014

High Anxiety

Today, we attended a birthday party for the sweet three year old sister of a boy in the Mayor’s class. The small affair was held at a local nursery rhyme/fairytale themed park. I was excited to take the kids there for the first time.
It’s no new thing for me to fly solo with both kids at birthday parties. I’ve even done it at similar types of parks, easy peasy. But for some reason today the odds which I thought were favorable, stacked to high heaven against me. And while I’ve been in more stressful situations, I would have done something morally reprehensible for an adult beverage. Or a Xanax. Or both.
I sometimes get paranoid calling out my kids’ names in public places like this (even the neighborhood park sometimes). Who knows what kind of weirdos are skulking about. And when there’s a second kid with the same name, don’t even get me started about having to use our last name! (Yep, like today).
The two are conspiring against me, I’m sure of it. While I thought Miss Thang was sleeping, they were actually telepathically devising a strategy to drive Mom over a cliff. Maybe it’s because both are exerting a greater sense of agency, one ran off in a different direction from the other.
Places to go, amusement park to see.
Thankfully the other parents there understood the situation and gracefully tailed behind the pack of boys off in one direction, as I chased after the speed demon “toddler” o’ mine in the other. But that in itself brought about an entirely different worry: will the Mayor be good for someone else’s mom? This mom in particular was not a complete stranger (her boy also went to the Mayor’s preschool until this year) but not someone the Mayor was terribly familiar with, either. He’s pretty independent, that one. And stubborn. And impulsive. And temperamental. (He get it from his mama). He’s all five.
And maybe it’s because I felt like I was placing a burden on other people by not being able to wrangle both of my kids into doing the same thing at the same time. Like I was an unfit mother. But I have to remind myself that motherhood is another type of sisterhood. Our kids have free will and next-to-no impulse control. And that it’s OK to ask for help (even without asking) because my sisters in motherhood are up for it, just as I would be if the tables were turned.

I’m not sure I’d say I’ve always been a worrier, but I have devoted an awful lot of my adult life to its futility. And now that I have kids, it’s 100 fold. (Maybe more!) Worrying about their safety and well being; if I could only know that they are going to make it out of childhood relatively unscathed, maybe I wouldn’t worry quite as much. I worry that it gets in the way of actually enjoying their childhood.

1 comment:

  1. Have you read Brene Brown's books? She helps me keep my worrying down a little bit. Especially Gifts of Imperfection.