Do you ever stop worrying about your kids? Like, is there a time, when you just say, fuck it, they’re on their own?
I’m thinking the answer is a resounding”NO” that reverberates across continents, and bounces upward to every star in the solar system. Yeah, probably you never do.
I remember so lucidly thinking, when I was a kid, and felt my parents (particularly my dad, who punished me for ridiculously minute things that were utterly inconsequential) that I would always remember what it was like to be young, and treated unfairly. I thought those embedded memories of what I deemed court case-worthy would not be passed on. I felt things deeply, whole-heartedley, and I was certain I would be able to retain the memories well enough to steer a better, more fair parental ship. And I think I have in many ways remembered what so irritated me, what I considered wrong, bad, horrible and just plain stupid parenting.
But what I can also see in a different, more 100 watt bulb light now, as an adult, with adult-ish kids, are my parents allowing me to go out in my boyfriend’s decked out van with a bed, tv and bar in the back (a veritable “parking” love shack), that each time I walked out the door, the terror on their faces that I might not come back, the fear that when I went to college, I might not be able to do the work, or be on my own, or God forbid know how to get my nutrition (they were crazy with food, those people). I look back now and I see their eyes, filled with fear as I pranced around in skimpy shorts and tiny bikinis, with perfect skin and a sexier body than I knew what to do with. I understand only now, how it must have been hard to let me, the last of their three girls, go, knowing I would never come back to my little town to live, that I would establish my life elsewhere, and that they would only get to see me sometimes.
I see now, what I couldn’t see then. Funny how even when your vision deteriorates, you can see more clearly.
They worried about us, my parents, even when they were old, and sick themselves, what my sisters and I would do without them, how it would be for us. They are probably worrying wherever they are now, although jeesh, I hope they’re someplace where worrying is not a thing.
I guess when you have kids, the minutes you have kids, worry comes too, like it’s the afterbirth or something. And although you will try to abandon this feeling in every way you can, with every technique, every new theory, you will not be able to shed it anymore than you will be able to shed your own damn skin.
I’m thinking I will have to accept it, kid-worry, as part of me, like my penchant for watermelon, need for morning coffee, crazy love affair with the beach. I am assuming I will worry about their every move for the rest of my life. However long that is, however much they will tell me not to. I will worry. I will hope, with fingers crossed that they can navigate the rocky, traversing, mountainous path to happy.
Til death do us part.