I saw this article on Facebook about parents worrying about their adult children.
I used to ” think about” my two sons’ safety, eating habits, their health, their lack of sleep, their future, etc. etc. Now that my two adult sons are happily married I only worry a little bit every now and then.
Well, after all they each have a wonderful, strong, intelligent, and loving wife. I never worry about them either. Well I do “think” about them all a little bit but not on a daily basis and only under extenuating circumstances. The following are some of those “circumstances.”
1. When there are tornado warnings near their homes or where one son delivers food for his income. When there are severe weather warnings, I wonder if they checked the weather that morning and were aware of potential danger. Who knows, maybe they aren’t listening to the weather channel and could drive into a hail storm, a hurricane, or a blizzard.
Somebody has to watch out for them. Right? Only in extenuating circumstances I try to call them to warn them. But sometimes they don’t answer the phone; then I am afraid to call them again since I might distract them from their driving under adverse conditions. What’s a mother to do?
I’ve become a weather watcher since both sons and families are always on the go. They all have phone apps that give them warnings about the weather. So I have decreased my anxiety over this one. If they aren’t home, I know they have common sense to get in out of the weather. (Well, I think they do.) They are all really quite competent and able to take care of themselves. But at least they know I love them.
2. When there is one of those rare winter ice/snow storms within one or two hours of 5 o’clock traffic. The kind of storm that backs up traffic for miles and only allows traffic to move 50 feet in 30 minutes with more snow/ice coming down and icing up the roads. Such a storm occurred and was christened “The Snow Apocalypse!”
The son who is in his car most of the time called to tell me his phone charger wasn’t working, his phone battery was almost dead, his car suddenly got stuck in the ice because traffic was so slow, and his blood sugar was getting low! This actually happened! I immediately envisioned him going into hypoglycemic shock since there was no food in the car and he couldn’t pull off to get any without risking being stuck and not reaching his apartment, (where his fiance’ would be waiting), before midnight!
Thankfully someone helped him get his car unstuck and parked in a parking lot. Then he called to tell me he was going to walk home to his apartment in the snow and ice. The distance? A mere two and a half miles! I had visions of him collapsing on the walk from any number of factors: hypoglycemia, exhaustion, freezing after falling or a car slipping on the ice and hitting him.
His long trench coat, gloves, ski mask, boots and hat, not to mention the sheer, ferocious will that he would make it, kept him from freezing and kept him going. I believe the “Fight or flight” Adrenalin he had pumping in his system loosed the stored glucose in his body and his blood sugar rose to normal.
He got home safely, tired and hungry. His fiance’ and I were worried sick that something might happen to him walking on the side of Glenwood Avenue with cars slipping and sliding all over the place. Can you see why I worry??
His fiance’ had been a few blocks ahead of him and wanted to go back to help him. He told me to relay the message to her that he wanted her to go on ahead and be safe. When he walked in the door she embraced him with relief, then gave him a good chewing out for scaring her to death! Then he called me to let me know he was safe.
3. When a hurricane is coming toward our coast, which is an hour and a half away from my second son and his family. Am I worried? Nah…well, a little bit. Well a lot. They now have a toddler and a baby on the way. They will be safe, I am sure…..Well, if they come stay with me, they will be!!
4. When first son is delivering in dangerous parts of town or post football or fraternity party nights where everyone is acting crazy. What if his car breaks down in a bad area of town when he is delivering food at night? Well, he is an imposing six foot, six inches tall. Still, mothers will always worry about their adult kids.
6. When my second son works his computer job at night and his wife works during the day from home. They swap turns taking care of their toddler son and neither of them get enough sleep. Oh and they have another baby coming in January and will soon be even more sleep deprived.
7. When my second son, his pregnant wife and toddler son live in the country, thirty minutes from the nearest hospital and she is due in January! Could be snowing! There is a whole boat load of “concern” right there!
Now I understand so better what my poor parents experienced when all three of their daughters moved 6-12 hour distances away from them. Even though our brother lived near them, I know they worried about all of us. An example: At the age of twenty-two I married and moved to New Orleans with my husband. When we came home for our first annual visit, one of the first things my mother said when she saw me was, “Your acne has cleared up!” (Gee, Mom! I’m not a teenager any more!)
Do I need to worry about my adult sons and their families? Probably not. Maybe it’s more a matter of “I have to worry a little bit at least.” They don’t need me like they did. But after raising one from birth and the other from his teens, and they married and moved away I guess I have to feel like they still need me. They do need someone thinking about them and praying for their safety and reassuring them that they are loved and missed. They know that already though.