Worrying. Will It Ever End?

Baby Blues is one of my all time favorite columns. It’s real. It’s clever. It’s hysterical. And through the years, as my friend Kelly pointed out, it often paralleled the domestic realities of life I wrote about in my syndicated newspaper column. This strip ↓instantly reminded me of a past column and illuminated the fact that we as moms, no matter how old our kids are, as Kelly herself recently reminded me, never really stop worrying. Ever. 

So, here ya go:

Worrying

The other night I was going through my bedtime ritual of tucking in the kids. “Turn your radio down.” “OK.”

“Lights out, son.”

“OK, Mom.”

“Say your prayers.”

“Don’t worry.”

Don’t worry? What kind of mother does the boy think he’s been living with all these years? Somewhere in the Mommy Manual there’s a thick chapter on how to worry about things that are out of my control and may never happen. Then there’s one on how to worry about things that may never happen but it’ll be my fault if they do.

I lay awake in bed thinking about the back-up batteries in the carbon monoxide detector in case the electricity goes out. I worry that I won’t get a good night’s sleep. I worry that it’ll rain during the night and I left something outside. And do I have bread for sandwiches in the morning?

I worry about using “lay” and “lie” improperly.

I worry about the dog running away. I worry he’ll get arthritis in his neck and it’ll be my fault for buying that choker collar.

I worry about the film developing people loosing my film somewhere between drop-off and pick-up.

I worry that I’m not feeding my family properly. Are they getting enough fiber? Where does their favorite sugar bomb cereal fall into the food pyramid? I fear that 20 years from now, it’ll be proven that their favorite foods, ketchup and ranch dressing, cause cancer.

I worry about my kids having nice friends. I worry about my kids having friends, period. What if that one kid turns out to be a real psycho?

I worry when my kids are home and when they’re not.

I worry about my children going to college even though it’s years away. And not just how we’ll pay for it. What will they eat? Will they get enough sleep? Will they brush their teeth before they leave for class in the morning? Will they remember to set their alarm clock? What am I going to do all day long when they’re both gone?

I look in the mirror and worry I’ll have acne till I’m 80 and be bald by 60. I worry that my daughter will have my bad skin.

I worry that my son will burp but won’t say, “Excuse me.” when I’m not around to kick him under the table.

I worry about my knees getting so fat and flabby that I’d actually entertain the thought of liposuction. I worry whether I’ll forget to worry about something.

I’ve worried about being a good mother since before my children were conceived, which should make me some kind of expert. But there’s one thing I still don’t know: whether or not worrying burns calories.

And that worries me.

 

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