Grandbaby #4 will be here sometime in the next…oh…few, several, maybe ten days…who knows…which means my phone is never off and always charged.
You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but then, does a mother ever get used to worrying about her children? Cassie has had fairly easy pregnancies and deliveries, but still, it’s difficult to accept there isn’t one thing I can do to guarantee she and the baby will be fine. This isn’t a skinned knee we’re talking about.
And as if worry wasn’t enough, self-doubt joined the fun. Do I have what it takes to be a good support to my daughter and her husband? A good Grammy to four children?
I’ve eaten my way through those questions more than a few times and…you guessed it…I got no answers. Just a sluggish feeling with a side of guilt.
You know the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees”? Yeah, well, sometimes the answers I seek can’t be found because I’m looking in the wrong place. Leave it to a 5-year-old to be my guiding prophet.
Last night I took Claire to her taekwondo class. On the ride there, she talked about who will be at her house to take care of her when her mommy’s having the baby. She rattled off a list of all the people she wants around her: me, Papa Larry, Grandma Julia, Papa Frank, Auntie Carly and Uncle Ben. She said she wanted to sleep in her bed tent and wanted Luca to sleep in her secret hiding place (AKA, her closet, which has a sheer curtain for a door and lots of pillows inside. No mention of where Mae would be in all this. Luca is her best friend. Mae’s someone she escapes from once in awhile.)
Claire was talking faster than usual and I realized she was seeking reassurance that everything will be OK, that if she woke up one morning and Mommy and Daddy weren’t there, that she would not be alone. And it hit me. I know how to do that! I know how to make Claire feel safe. I’ve been doing it for more than five years!
When I woke up this morning, I made my intention for the day to be mindful of how I was taking care of myself so that I could best take care of the people who need my help. I have no control over how or when gbaby arrives, but I can control what goes in my mouth and my physical activity.
|Mae, Cassie, Claire and Luca. #4 is in there somewhere!
So with a bit of new-found courage, I threw on some clothes, ate a sensible breakfast, and headed over to Cassie’s to watch the kids so she could go to her OB appointment in peace. I sat on the couch and all three kids grabbed their blankies and snuggled up around me. I asked Cassie how I’d possibly have room for another baby and she said, “You have long arms. They’ll all fit.” When I got home, I worked out for the first time in two weeks. The endorphins were like long-lost friends. I’d missed them so.
Over the next few days, I will do what I’ve done the other three times: prepare and freeze meals for the family. And when Cassie comes home from the hospital, greeting her on the stove will be a pot of wild rice soup, and in the oven, tater tot hotdish. There’s a place for food to offer comfort. It’s just not a very good counselor.
I’m still worried. That won’t change. I mean, it’s my daughter. But I won’t let worry consume me. I’m letting it fuel me.