April 29, 2005

Everything's Fine

I worry like crazy about The Boy. That's most likely not news to anyone who knows me. But since I have years of experience and am quite good at it, it would be a shame to waste my natural talent.

Is he getting enough to eat?
Losing too much weight?
Getting enough sleep?
Wearing clean socks?
Partying too much?
Keeping his room clean?
Getting along with his suitemates?
Keeping his grades up?
Surrounded by supportive people who care about him?
Staying dry when it rains?
Excited busy and absorbed or distracted confused and lost?
Getting laid? Relating well to others?
Having fun?
Staying healthy?
Making smart decisions?
Keeping in touch with his father?
Planning the logistics for next month?
Getting the most out of his classes?
Balancing his checkbook?
Enjoying his collegiate experience?
Taking care of business?
In over his head?
All of the above?
None of the above?

I could go on (and on and on and on), but I'll stop the list there. Some of those questions I know the answers to. Others I don't really want to know. I mean it. I really don't want to know. The rest? There is little I can do except worry. When we saw him last weekend, he was obviously stressed, but hey, it's the end of the semester and the end of the year. He's supposed to be stressed. He's got a lot going on.

When Wendy and I take road trips, we always pack a shoebox full of CDs to entertain us. We listened to one that I usually choose to accompany serious housework: Tracy Bonham "The Burdens of Being Upright". It is serious housecleaning music. I'm not even sure what it was doing in the travel box. It's not really driving-in-the-car music. Well, it can work as driving music, but it's better as housecleaning music. It is definitely not sitting-in-traffic music though.

What's that got to do with me worrying about The Boy? "Mother Mother" is the first track on the CD. It is a song about a daughter calling home, lyrics excerpted below.

Mother mother, how's the family?
I'm just calling to say hello.
How's the weather? How's my father?
Am I lonely? Heavens no!

Mother mother can you hear me?
Sure I'm sober, sure I'm sane.
Life is perfect, never better.
Still your daughter still the same.

If I tell you what you want to hear,
Will it help you to sleep well at night?
Are you sure that I'm your perfect dear?
Now just cuddle up and sleep tight.

I'm hungry
I'm dirty
I'm losing my mind

I'm freezing
I'm starving
I'm bleeding to death

I miss you.
I love you.

That song is about a child preserving illusions for their parents even as the tenuous reality of their existence seeps out. She's trying to be strong and present a brave face while inside, well inside it's not always so grand. The harsh clashes of chords with the crescendos and fades of the music paint vivid emotions to accompany those lyrics. Turn it up loud. It rocks.

I want everything to be fine.
But it's not always going to be fine and that's got to be okay too.
Worrying won't make a bit of difference either way, will it?



Elizabeth said...

Zo, Mz. Zaburpan Lezbeeun, I zee vee have controol izzuses, ya? You must let go, zee? I recommend zee hot zex to help weeth zis worry thing, ya?

While he's out partying (oops sorry)...

You'll get an ulcer.
Your blood pressure will go up.
It will be difficult for you to reach Nirvana (Buddha is soooo anti-worry).
You'll get all wrinkly.
You'll get all twitchy and knock stuff over.
Your hair will turn gray...uh...

That Girl said...

My every sympathy. Although worry is useless and stupid and doesn't help anyone to me it is as natural as breathing. And deep down I think Im convinced that as long as Im worrying about it, it can't really happen. Cause isn't it always the stuff you never dream to worry about that actually happens? Sorry, hope that didn't make it worse. Ah, for a cigarette...

Heather said...

Ah darn. And I thought the worrying would be all done by the time they're all growed up :-( Guess I have alot of years of the same ahead of me. Right now I'm just worrying about how we'll survive the teen years when I have a 9 year old daughter who already spends too much of her time pissed off at me. WHY did we sign up for this parenting thing?

Mel said...

Well, actually, a lot of things we worry about never happen. I like to think that's because of the preventative worrying. ;)

I Am The Walrus said...

I read this pithy little saying just today...It takes a child three months to realize that their body was separate from their mother's. It then took the mother twenty-three years to realize the same thing. I am so-o-o-o glad my child is thirty-seven!

Career Guy said...

So, sarafenix, does it get easier at 37? I wonder. Our little girl is 32--doesn't matter. Ms. Suburban, keep up the questions if it makes you feel better (or worse). I agree that some prophylactic fretting is quite effective in preventing disasters big and small, so keep it up.

Gina said...

Oh, thank you so very much for a glimpse into my future. Great... ;)

Wash Lady said...

Hmmm........Are we kin?

Cris said...

Guess what.....
It does not get better once they are adults. The concerns may vary, the issues may be different, but we still want to protect our kids from the hurts and dangers of the world.

And then, when they bring others into your world, spouses, grandchildren, that sphere of concern just widens to include them all.

Maybe some day, I won't do the worrying any longer.

Rhetorical, philosophical question: When a child exists, does worrying continue on different astral planes?