Drawing the Line

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I'm not a big worrier.  Well, that's not completely true.  I'm a worrier to the extent that all moms worry about their kids and overthink things.  But I've never been paralyzed by it.  There's probably always something floating around in the back of my head but I live a fairly easy-going life and like to think I'm pretty level headed in how I live my life and raise my kids.  I'm not much of a control freak and I try to be pretty flexible with things.

But we're in the age of information overload.  And if we didn't have enough to worry about with our own health, safety, and financial state, we have these adorable little monsters to worry about that we've been tasked with raising.  And if you're hooked to Facebook like me, there's a constant barrage of articles and blogs and research.  It's all well meaning and the information itself is GOOD.  I want to know how to decrease my risk of cancer.  I want to know how to support families in need.  I want to know how we can improve the environment so our kids can raise their own families and breathe clean air.

But I've come to a point where I can't do it anymore.

I can't read any more CaringBridge sites.

I can't watch any more clips of kids singing to their mom with cancer.

I can't read about dads that died of brain tumors.

I can't read another article about how every single solitary thing in my house and fridge will kill me.

Because it makes me want to curl up in the fetal position-- and even that makes me feel guilty.  Because if MY kid were the one that were sick, I'd want you to read and support and pray for them.  If I were the bald one fighting to see my kids get married, I'd want you to pay attention.  If I were the widow, I'd want you to show up at the benefit.  These people are SO deserving.  The information is important.  The stories are worthy.

But it sends me into a tail spin.  It makes me crazy.  It keeps me up at night.  It makes me over analyze every tiny status change.

I read a blog in the spring about a sweet three year old girl fighting terminal cancer whose symptoms began last summer when we was two and a half {Charlotte's age in the summer} when they brought home a new baby {same story} and they thought her crazy behavior was due to the family change.  Charlotte, this past summer, at two and a half, with a new brother, was CRAZY.  So naturally, I had "brain tumor" floating around the back of my mind all some.  As if a two year old and a new baby weren't hard enough.  Then Charlotte started stuttering last week, a common developmental glitch that can occur in the preschool years, I KNOW, but again, I convinced myself she had a brain tumor.  I was texting colleagues and speech therapist friends looking for advice because she was saying her W's funny.  I was turning crazy.

Any random pains I get that last for five minutes make me think, "Is this the first symptom?"

Every time I microwave something in a plastic bowl, I feel guilty that I'm too cheap to replace our tupperwear with glass.  And I painted Charlotte's fingernails last week, so she's going to get cancer.  And I didn't hug Tyler tight enough this morning, so obviously he's going to die in a random accident today, like that other dad in the news.

I want to do the best that I can.  To live clean and healthy, to cherish each day with my family because they ARE a gift.

But I have to stop.  If you share something on Facebook and ask for prayers, I'll do it-- those mamas and babies and daddies are so deserving of our prayer and time and attention.  But I can't read CaringBridge anymore.  I can't like any more sick kid Facebook pages.  I can't read any more articles about how every single solitary thing in my house is radiating cancer cells.  Because instead of making me grateful, it makes me crazy.

I just have to do the best I can, and hand over the rest to Jesus.  Because it's slowly making me insane.  My worst fear is losing my kids or my husband or my life.  My second is that I spend my whole life with a healthy family that I was never able to fully enjoy because I was always afraid I'd lose them.

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