Wednesday, January 25, 2006

This is NOT my Job

When I was pregnant, Pat in hopes of trying to ease some of the burden of carrying our child all by my lonesome, offered this: "I will do all of the worrying."

He would worry about pregnancy complications, pre-term birth,the costs of raising a child, what kind of parents we'd be, etc etc. He definitely held up his end of the bargain, and may even be to credit for why I felt so calm being rushed to the hospital in the middle of night to deliver our daughter 7 weeks early. In those moments, I'm sure he was worried enough for both of us and then some.

Since our daughters birth, he has continued to the Chief Worrier around here. This was his primary commentary on parenting for quite some time, that parenting was just a culture of fear and worry. Early on, all guests to our home were greeted with a large bottle of hand sanitizer by the door, and those with any hint of illness were politely kept at bay. For many months (and maybe even now) he woke several times a night to insure that our wee girl was even still breathing. I mean to paint no picture of mockery here. The fact that I know that he takes care of the worrying for us is a surprisingly freeing thing. If something gives me concern, usually all I have to do is look to him to see if he is worried about it. If he's not, then I know I too should let it go. Its a service he provides that I would have never known to ask for but value greatly.

But as of late, I have find myself in knots of worry. Worry, being rather foreign to me most of the time, wasn't even something I readily identified. I feel nervous, find myself pacing about a bit aimlessly, not sleeping well, and having no real peace about me. It was several days before I realized that this was just simple anxiety, a foreign enemy.

I'm anxious about some pending test scores that will determine whether or not I continue on in this teaching program in which I'm currently enrolled. (Damn Bible College and no math classes!!!!) I'm probably nervous about being a student again, just not remembering what taking course work seriously entails. (Probably why I was never diligent about coursework prior to now.) And a bit more broadly, this new era of raising a toddler has got me a bit on edge. In actuality, I find this age to be a lot more enjoyable than the stages of her development prior to now, mostly because infants have never been my forte. But I'm finding that enjoying the company of a toddler is entirely different than parenting a toddler. When I saw a kid take a toy from another kid prior to now, I could rectify the situation and move on. But as a parent, I now have the responsibility of not just giving the toy back but also teaching my child not to take the toy next time. As our pediatrician is quick to remind parents, how we interact with her now will likely be the same way we interact with her when she is a teenager. NO pressure there, right?

These are pretty run of the mill things to worry about, and probably nothing that will have me popping antacids any time soon. But it does lead me to wonder if this kind nervous uneasyness is what my dear Don P. feels all the time? And if it is, how do you not drink more than you do?

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