I looked sadly at my end of winter feet, the kind that desperately need a pedicure. I had a small freckle/mole that always looked a little weird but it has been there for years except I noticed it now has a friend. The second looked even more suspicious and lead me to Dr. Google which is almost always a bad idea. Before I knew it, I was showing the soles of my feet to friends asking their opinion and trying not to freak out while dramatic thoughts danced through my head.
Well meaning family called expressing their concern while friends with furrowed brows said, "I think you should get that checked out, I mean I'm sure it's nothing, but you should totally get that checked." Even my extraordinarily laid back husband looked a little worried. I went home and looked at about 1,000 pictures of melanomas, studying and comparing my own spot. Around the same time I got an e-mail from a friend asking me to light a candle for a mom going into surgery with an aggressive bone cancer while her husband and two small children waited at home.
I started to try to imagine what she must be feeling. My own fears over a small brown spot lingered while hers over a large tumor on her spine blew my mind. Who can even entertain the thought of leaving our small children motherless? If it could happen to her, could it happen to me? I lit my candle and hoped she and her family would have all they needed to face whatever might come their way. I felt sort of silly for my worries for myself and yet even still, fear had a very strong stake in my day.
Fear and worry seem to go with parenting. Do you think he will ever talk? Does she eat enough vegetables? What school should we send them to? Is he really ready for kindergarten? Will my divorce scar my kids forever? Does she have friends at school? What if he doesn't play sports? Will they remember their bike helmets if I don't remind them? Are they safe at the mall alone with their friends? What am I gonna do when he can drive? Will he get into a good college? Have I given my kids enough? Am I enough?
What place does fear have in our lives as parents? Is it robbing us of our everyday joys or does it serve to protect us and our children? Do we channel it to hear the call to live our best lives or does it cause us to stumble?
Tell us what you think in the comments. Are you a "worried" kind of parent?