I worry. A lot. I can’t help it. If the older kids are going to get into the car and drive somewhere, I worry. If we are walking through a parking lot and the little kids aren’t holding my hand, I worry. The other cars can’t see them and, for the love of God…anything could happen!!!
For many years I panicked outwardly and voiced my concerns anytime I had them. This caused the people around me to do a few things:
1. Think I am crazy.
2. Get so irritated with me that they stopped telling me things
3. Pick Dad to do the important things like, practice driving, which made me feel, well, just fine!
I came to a realization the other day that I am who I am and that is not going to change. I will worry because I love you and I am not sorry for that. I have also realized that I don’t have to involve EVERYONE in my worriedness. I have learned to mute my worry. For instance, when I am driving with my daughter and she gets too close to the parked car; I no longer gasp and grab the handle and move my legs as far over to the center of the car as if I am going to avoid being killed by moving over. I simply say “Peyton” in a calm and irritating voice, as the passenger mirror misses the parked car by an inch. This simple modification allows me to accomplish a number of things:
1. I get to release some energy created in my moment of panic.
2. It allows my girl to check her surroundings (she knows I have modified my panic reactions but am actually still panicking).
3. I get to feel like I have saved the day and most likely I was the reason we didn’t all just get into an accident. I still get to be me!
Our oldest son just got back from Mexico from a 10+ month student exchange program. He was fine. He was more than fine. He learned, he laughed, he traveled and was immersed in a new language and culture that he would not have experienced at home. He survived, and so did I. I did not think at first that we would. But how would we know unless we tried?I will never stop worrying. Never. But I will try to let days pass and have fun and let THEM have fun and remember that I cannot protect my family every minute of every day. As much as I would like to be there all the time, I have to let go. Ugh…I can’t believe I just said that. I have to let go….a little.
Have a wonderful 4th of July!