As the weekend approaches, I am ready to see the end of the week, a break from this hot spell, and a beginning of a new season. Something terrifying happened on Monday, and I am still a little jittery.
I’m not going to go in to detail because I don’t have a desire to re-live this and I don’t intend to be overdramatic, but long story short, Jude choked while eating lunch on Monday – like for real choked. His face got red and began to get blue. I was grateful for the choking protocol I learned in infant CPR class. A 911 call was involved, and OHMYGOD it was scary. We are all fine now with the exception of my ridiculous paranoia over the size of his food. Someone might have halved his raisins yesterday at lunch and squished last night’s curry vegetables beyond all recognition.
Being a mother is terrifying, y’all.
After this happened, I realized that I could mark yet another thing off the list of that-better-not-ever-happen-to-me-but-what-if-it-does sorts of things. I have so many fears as a mama. I’m almost scared to list them here because I’ll surely end up looking like the paranoid crazy I am. The first few weeks of my pregnancy, I was terrified of losing the baby and I refused to tell much of anyone until we heard a sound heartbeat and my doctor reassured me. Throughout most of my second and third trimesters, I was petrified of having a need for cesarean birth and wondered how I would handle such an unsettling, disconnecting experience if it were to happen to me. After Jude came along, I sometimes fretted over whether he was too hot or too cold. Or how many poops he’d had recently. Once he began eating, I worried over the terrifying thought of a choking incident. While I don’t really care that I still feed him once or twice a night, lots of other mothers see this as a discipline issue, and in light of their comments, I sometimes worry that I am ruining my child and doing the wrong thing by responding to his cries.
Some of these fears came to fruition and others did not, but the list goes on and on.
What if the second I turn my head, he finds the one sharp object I neglected to secure properly and impales himself? What if he manages to wriggle his way out of the infant float in the pool and meet a watery doom? What if he grows to hate school and loathe learning? What if he tastes the “glory” of a happy meal and refuses to eat real food after that? What if I don’t choose the right school to enroll him in? What if he owns a motorcycle one day? What if he grows up to become a Republican? (Kidding on that last one, sort of.)
But really. There are just so many things to fret over in this parenthood gig. So many. I recently received some very frightening news about a college acquaintance of mine and her obstacle with the scariest thing any of us could imagine as a parent. It doesn’t take long for your heart to go from oh God, I pray for them and how scared they must be to there but for the grace of God go I to ohmygod what if? What if?
The world is a scary place.
But here’s the thing. Is tomorrow any less frightening because you spent years worrying about that thing that actually happened? No. My surgery was no less scarring because I feared it. Our choking scare was no less terrifying because I worried about it before. I know the McCormick family would be in no less pain and worry now if they’d thought about this frightening incident before its occurence.
Our tendency to worry does nothing but rob us of today; our tomorrows are no easier to handle. So for now, my friends, I am going to try and stop the mommy worry overload and drink in some sweetness if I can. It’s here, you know. Lots of it. For starters, I get to spend the day at the pumpkin patch with my baby and the evening visiting an adorable freshly-baked new baby and his glowing mommy. Life is good.
In the meantime, I’ll be praying for the McCormicks and their journey with little Peyton. Please remember to send thoughts of peace and healing their way.