Sunday, February 22, 2009
My worries are small.

Sitting in a quiet cafe this afternoon, I sipped decaf and caught up with Summer. It has been months since we've visited - and in that time, jobs have been lost, MRI's have been had, domestic scuffles have occurred, proposals have been made.

None of which involved me.

My life moves more slowly than hers. My husband and I are comfortable, our daily routines are safe and our children are home or in the homes of people that we trust. I worry still, of course. That I yell too much, or that I snap too quickly. I worry that I say no more often than yes, or that I might forget to fulfill a promise made the night before in the midst of a busy day.

I worry about being a liar or a hypocrite, or about spending more time explaining what they do wrong than encouraging them for what they do right. I worry, as a mother does, about the ratio of chicken nuggets to broccoli that remains on their plates at the end of dinner. Or how many glasses of juice did they drink in a day, versus how much milk. Silly, really.

Summer worries that her children might be emotionally scarred for life, from things that are out of her control. Because of custody laws and regulations and because the system is backlogged with cases that would be considered more severe than her own, she sends her children - sobbing and fussing - to a house where they don't feel safe. Where she knows that they witness things that are frightening and damaging to small eyes and ears. Where her little girls are told to get their filthy selves outside and they come home feeling worthless.

She told me this over the lip of a giant mug of chai, milk foam spilling of the top. With watering eyes, she asked if I had any words of wisdom, any advice - because she's asking anyone and everyone. What's a mother to do?

I swirled the watery remnants of my black coffee in the bottom of my mug and was without words. Somehow milk to juice or chicken nuggets to broccoli ratios seem silly. Worrying over whether or not I might forget to fulfill my word that I will give my children cake tomorrow - it all seems like air. Light and easy and why do I worry so much when I'm not drowning? When there's a whole world out there, where these sorts of things happen. Where small, delicate hearts and spirits are broken.

Helpless as I am, all I can do is put worry to rest and pray.


Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

Wow. That was intense. So well delivered, though. You borrow worry from the future. Hard not to.


Blogger Pat Pritchett said...

How sad....glad she has a good friend to seek support.

Blogger Susanna Rose said...

Summer's story sounds really sad...I can't even imagine. Like you say, my worries also seem very mundane compared to those of this mother. I'm sure she is so thankful she has your listening ear...knowing she has your friendship must be such a comfort and as my mom reminded me recently, sometimes the best times are when we simply feel we have nothing to say to someone because in the end, they probably did not really need to hear anything anyways. What will most comfort them is just knowing they had someone willing to listen to them and to care.

Post a Comment

<< Home