Well, actually it’s a five letter word, but I thought I’d get your attention. Alright, alright, my misleading attempt at being funny ain’t so funny. But isn’t it funny how before you have children, it kinda bugs you when your mum always worries about you?
I mean, my mum is still constantly sending me emails about this worry or that. The last one was about making sure your dentist uses the thyroid guard on the lead apron they throw over you when taking your jaw’s x-ray. This is a big thing now. Supposedly you can get thyroid cancer if you don’t. Who knew?
When I lived in Australia, working on a dive boat as a marine biologist, mum was always sending me whole envelopes full of little snippets of newspaper articles she cut out and collected. One about the dangers of SCUBA diving. Another on the dangers of getting lost in the Outback. The top 5 deadliest snakes in the world are from the Land Down Under. Same with the top deadliest spiders. And so on. She has even gone as far as sending me VHS (yes, I do believe she is one of the last people in the Western World that still makes video tapes) from an Oprah episode about the dangers of traveling to some country I mentioned wanting to visit. I don’t even want to tell her we’re planning on taking the kids to Mexico this Spring. Hmmm, then again, reading the news lately, she might have a point about that.
Now I am the worrier. I’ve become exactly what used to bug me.
It all started before I even had my first ultrasound. You can’t tell anyone you’re pregnant for the first three months because you’re scared of a miscarriage. Then you find out you’re on the safe side of that demarcation and you start to worry about your baby being born with some sort of birth defect, or not being born alive at all. Then when they are born, you hope your husband or the doctor is telling you the truth when they say that your boys are healthy and everything is fine. But still, you want to see your baby for yourself and make sure there are no complications, ten fingers, ten toes and one adorable baby face.
A little while after the healthy birth, you then worry about your child having some other handicap. Is that curve in Logan’s spine means he won’t be able to walk? How come Ryan keeps throwing his arms around spastically? Is he Autistic?
When Logan slept for eight and a half hours a few Saturdays ago, my joy at a full night’s sleep was quickly pushed aside for worry. Honey… I nudged my husband rather roughly, after looking at the time, Honey? Honey! Go check on Logan please, I’m worried he might be in a coma.
On and on you worry as a mother, until they grow up to be young adults. Whew! you think. But no. Then you worry about drug and alcohol problems in high school, or pregnancy, or being a social outcast. Now mums have to worry about whole new set of worries. Like cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying? What the… ? I swear if I hear my kid is getting beat up at school, I am marching straight up to the bully’s house, and bullying his mum or dad. I’ll show you about bullying! But cyber-bullying is very virtual. You don’t know exactly who is doing the bullying. And that worries me.
Typically, baby boomers worried if their children (us) would become doctors or lawyers. Nevermind wishing for that now. Nowadays, you just want your kids to be well-adjusted adults, who fall in love and hopefully don’t get a divorce, are able to keep a job and earn a decent wage, no matter what it is, and at the very very least, live longer than you.
I guess now I understand my mum a tiny bit more.
When the worrying began…