Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What? Me Worry?


So last week we had parent-teacher conferences. We go to our conferences with Will's teachers to find out how he's doing academically (just fine, thank you very much), and we go to our conferences with Jack's teachers to see how he's doing socially. The reports have often been mixed. From kindergarten through second grade, for instance, Jack had a reputation as a tattletale, which believe it or not, is not endearing. In third grade he was thought to be a bit rigid about rules.

But toward the end of third grade, he made a best friend, who remained his best friend in fifth and sixth grade, and Jack was happy and stopped narking out his peers all the time.

And then his best friend changed schools in sixth grade, and Jack has been in a bad mood ever since.

But in the last couple of weeks, we've started to see tiny changes in him at home. He's been consistently--well, cheerful would be too strong a word for it, so let's say not a total crank. He even makes occasional dinnertime conversation, and seems very interested when the Man and I discuss local and national politics.

According to Jack's advisor, Mrs. E., Jack's social life at school is improving, too. She says Jack was always with a group of kids on the seventh grade's recent trip to Washington, DC, and that he's talking more during the advisory period, where they discuss all sorts of middle school trauma, such as bullying and what to do when your best friend suddenly dumps you. She named names of kids that Jack's friends with. She said that there's more Jack love in the universe than we might imagine.

This, my friends, was a huge relief. For the last two years, all we've heard about is Jack eating by himself in a corner, nose in a book, pretending like the rest of the world didn't exist.

So you'd think with all that good news I'd go home and feel light as a feather. And I did feel pretty good, at least for awhile. But that night I started worrying about all the terrible things that could happen to my children--car crashes, refugee camps, starvation when all the oil runs out. I had a hard time sleeping, worrying about all this stuff.

Why all the anxiety, I wondered the next day. Why the big panic? It's all good. Jack's making a B+ in French, and he has friends. It's the best Jack news we've had since Kristof transferred.

And then it occurred to me that for the first time in two years I didn't have the usual Jack stuff to worry about, and so my brain--my fearful, anxious, primitive brain--had to find something else to latch onto. Something bigger to worry about. Something even worse than middle school. Which, if you think about it, pretty much leaves us with the Apocalypse.

Really, I wear myself out.


Angela said...

Be sure you are not alone. More of us mothers are like you than care to admit. That verse where Paul says 'have no anxieties about anything' is fine 99.9% of the time, but I still struggle with mother-anxiety [and I have been doing it for 30 years]

It reminds me of 3 things - 1- God is looking out for my kids, and loves them even more than I do
2- 'I believe, Lord help my unbelief' is an honest expression of my feeble faith
3- The apostle Paul was clearly not a wife and mother!!!!

REALLY glad to hear you had such a positive report tho. Lenten blessings xx

Pom Pom said...

Frances, you put it so . . . real.
I have parent/teacher conferences tonight. I always wonder what they want to hear.
Jack sounds like a wonderful thinker. I'm not surprised.

Gumbo Lily said...

That Jack! He's the pie maker and so I'll never worry about him.

Tracy said...

Yes - it's easy to worry. I used to think that if things were going well then the other shoe was about to drop and everything would be dark and stormy very soon.

Now? I choose to celebrate and enjoy the good things. You have wonderful young men there Frances - even Mr Sullen. Like Gumbo Lily said, things can't be all bad with him if he makes pie!

wayside wanderer said...

Oh, I totally get this. It is hard not to worry about our kiddos, and I have one that I worry about more than the others just because. Nothing makes you more vulnerable than having children.

I wanted to talk books, too. I love Kate Morton's books! I need to see if I have read The Distant Hours. I think maybe I have (which makes me sad because there is nothing better than finding a book you want to read.) After I saw your comment I told my book club my pick was The Uncommon Reader without thoroughly investigating it. I hope there aren't any naughty parts! (Part of me hopes that there is! haha) So thanks for the recommendation. I will be thinking of you as I read.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

This is a test.

Angela said...

I just have to ask - does "This is a Test" refer to the whole matter of posting comments on the blog - or is it an answer to the Bigger Question "What is Parenting?"

blessings x

Left-Handed Housewife said...

A--I was testing to see if I changed my settings correctly. I'd like folks to be able to post comments without having to go through much rigamarole. I seem to have, but any feedback would be appreciated!

The dB family said...

Oh dear!! As moms I do think we all do that! Good thing that God is bigger than our worries. Glad that Jack is finding friends and being more talkative.