Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Not long ago, my sister and I were discussing how now that we’re back from our big family Disney trip, we wish we could do it over again…this time knowing that everything was going to work out well.  We worried about the resort we booked, the itinerary, the flights, etc.  Of course.  It was a big deal. 

But then I said, “What would life be without that worry?”  I can tell you now that I’d be parenting differently if someone from the future could lean in and tell me that my kids end up living long, happy lives.  Instead, I worry.  And I wouldn’t consider myself a worry wart or a nervous Nellie.

The problem, with respect to parenting, is that just when you get past a fearful point (like, I’m not afraid Paige is going to stuff things up her nose or see what bleach tastes like), up pops another.  For example, a friend recently had jury duty on a case that involved a girl not much older than Paige.  The allegations were serious and grew from a social media app.  Scary stuff.  I’ve been thinking about it all day.  My conclusion is this: it all goes back to parenting.  Whether you are all in.  Whether you are falling asleep at the wheel or have the ship under control.  And so this cautious worrying leads me to parent on the side of, well, caution.

The kids’ bus driver comments in his thick African (or Bahama?) accent that I am such a loyal mother – as I am standing at the bus stop everyday.  Yes, the bigs could probably see to it that Cole gets across the street safely, but it’s so much more than that.  The bus unloads with kids.  I see who is sitting with who.  I learn who got in trouble by the driver and I get to chat with other neighborhood kids.  Some people might call it worry helicopter parenting.  I call it present parenting.

And it’s all I know to do in order to feel that I’ve done all I can for them to live those long, happy lives.


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