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Saturday, June 22, 2013

I'm a Mother Therefore I Worry


I’m a Mother Therefore I Worry

Do you remember the first time your child wandered away from you in a store, or the library or in a parking lot?  The sudden sickness in your stomach.  The worry dense behind your eyes. 

Do you remember the rising panic when your child didn’t arrive home for hours and hours after a school event, or after they had just received their license, or after a date with someone your gut told you not to trust?  Can you recall the pain in your chest as you answered the phone and heard, “This is the police, we’re calling about…”?  Or the weakness in your legs when you answered, “Hello this is the hospital.  We’re looking for the parents of…”?

No matter how old or how competent my children and step-children are, if they don’t arrive when they are expected, I worry.  I know they will call…if they can.  For the first hour, I do well.  There are many reasons for delays.  After the second hour, I begin pacing a little and worry just a little more.  After three hours, my organized mind begins searching for scenarios and possibilities.  And when they are four or five hours overdue, I have to work hard at staying calm.

On Tuesday evening, I was nauseous, pacing, tight-lipped and teary.   My inner calculations told me they should have arrived at least four hours before they did.  And anything can happen to bikers…other drivers, breakdowns, loose gravel, deer or moose.  Anything can happen, can’t it?

I was so relieved to hear the rumble of their bikes driving up our street and into our driveway, so happy to hug their bug spattered bodies, to see their road-dirt faces.  So relieved and thankful.

My children had been to Bike Week at Laconia, New Hampshire and were due here at suppertime.  On the way back, his motorcycle broke down just outside of Ellsworth, Maine.  Her cell phone had lost its charge.  We had no way to check on them, so were unaware the bike had died at the side of the highway.

It took over four hours to reach a motorcycle repair shop, have the bike checked and to buy a new battery.

Even though they are adults, the thoughts of losing a child still make my throat close and my chest ache.

I worry. 

I’m a mother.


Words and photo are copyright ©2011-2013 Carol Steel.


Rambling Woods said...

I am glad that everything was ok and yes I understand... Michelle

Carol Steel said...

Thanks Michelle. It is hard not to worry, though I am aware their lives aren't something I can protect.