Specifically I worry about Rebel Dancing Daughter, Adventurous Singing Daughter, and Darling Laughing Son.
They laugh at me and my worries.
I glare and worry back at them. When they’re parents, they’ll get it, and I will cackle with glee.
I drive my own self crazy. It’s as if there are two of me in one body.
“Worrier Cathy” claws her way out and has all sorts of things, on a growing and alarming list, that I – Real Cathy – should worry about.
I envision Worrier Cathy hunched in a corner, biting her nails, her hair looking as if it’s been electrocuted, her knees to her chest. She whimpers to me, “What if THIS happens to the kids…what if THAT happens…could THIS happen, oh my God. It COULD…what would we do then?”
Real Cathy, me, tries to stay calm. I am a rational and practical person. I work a lot, I am the product of two parents who worked a lot and believed that idol hands could possibly be the devil’s play things. I love my friends and family, and I am fairly emotionally stable on my good days.
Worrier Cathy, however, gets Real Cathy all riled up and nervous.
What does Worrier Cathy make me worry about?
Cliffs that The Offspring might accidentally fall off of into the wild blue yonder. (That’s YOU Adventurous Singing Daughter, who hikes too high.)
Skiing through trees. (That’s YOU Darling Laughing Son. Don’t do this. And no back flips again on the slopes. You can break your neck. Did you HEAR me?)
Getting lost/sick/or attacked by terrorists abroad. (That’s YOU Rebel Dancing Daughter!)
Last fall I worried about rabid bats.
Couldn’t help myself.
Adventurous Singing Daughter was working in Yosemite for a term and getting bit by a rabid bat COULD happen so I warned her about it. But. There hasn’t been rabies in Yosemite for at least five years.
When a chipmunk nipped Adventurous Singing Daughter I talked to a doctor there about this who was polite when I drilled him with many, many questions about rabies, but still. Worrier Cathy had Real Cathy worried!
I am currently worried about lion bites as Rebel Dancing Daughter is in Africa. She left me for Africa for a few weeks so that Worrier Cathy could lose her head.
I picture Worrier Cathy wandering around with her head propped up in her hands with that electrocuted hair, her neck headless, muttering, “I’m so worried about Rebel Dancing Daughter in Africa! Diseases! Stampedes! Wars! Snakes! Bad water!”
This weekend I worried about the twins driving back to college. Darling Laughing Son drove his sister down to school. We had had an ice storm. The ice was gone on the freeways when I let them go, but still.
I had to pester my friend Keily about the freeway, which her kids had recently driven down. I think Keily thinks I’m a loon. I am okay with that because I can blame Worrier Cathy for all those texts.
When there is the slightest threat to my kids I can go from 0 to 90 miles per hour in my head in about ten seconds. You mothers out there might relate.
I don’t worry with the rest of my life.
I don’t worry about book sales, although as an author I probably should. But why would I do that? All I can do is write the best damn book I can. The results are out of my control.
I could worry about my health, but except for some slight hypochondria that lurks around now and then (Why does my left boob seem to hurt on Wednesdays? Do I have Shaking Leg Syndrome? My eyes feel fuzzy! Does this mean I’ll be blind by tomorrow morning?) I just don’t. It’s too boring and I feel too healthy.
So I have a goal for 2017: Worry less about The Offspring.
It is true that worrying has never changed one outcome in the history of this planet. Ever. Never.
I need to say a prayer for beloved Adventurous Singing Daughter, Darling Laughing Son, and Rebel Dancing Daughter, and let it go.
I need more peace, more calm, more zen.
I need Worrier Cathy to relax and find something else to do. Like fishing. Or golf.
And lion attacks are rare, aren’t they? Same with rabid bats?
Happy New Year!