An airplane vanishes. A ferryboat capsizes. Families wait, worrying, unwilling to accept the inevitable. I imagine the anguish these families are experiencing and wish I could offer some solace. I share their worry.
I watch my son grate horseradish by hand, and tell him to watch his fingers.
“Mom, you worry about everything,” he admonishes.
True. I worry about my New York City- based daughter-in-law who takes long subway rides to get to work. I worry about my San Francisco -living daughter who works late nights at professional basketball games. I worry when the grandkids climb on playground structures; my son is much more relaxed. I worried when my sons wrestled in high school; I worried watching my daughter reach for long tennis shots.
When I call my parents, my father asks me how I am, ignoring my questions about how he is. He’s a worrier. If traveling, we have to be sure to call him when we arrive and return. I remember his father, my grandfather Abie, responding in Yiddish when asked how he was feeling would say, “myt myyn hʻnt”- with my hands, dismissing our concern about his health.
I guess some of us are perpetual worriers.
Yet with worry, there’s pride.
Last night, I met my friend Yvonne to watch her son’s thesis performance for his MFA in Drama. Her pride bubbling like champagne; she told me she’s never missed any of his performances, his entire life. “It’s a mom thing,” she said.
I reminisced how we had gone to as many of our daughter’s tennis matches and college senior events we could last year and how I miss them now. She’s worried too. With graduation next month, her son needs a job. He’s entering a fickle, competitive industry; a lot depends on luck and timing.
Worry and pride, like a pair of mismatched gloves, seem the bane of parenting.
Are you a worrier? Or do you shun it and focus on being proud?