I am a worrier. I worry about quite a bit on a day to day basis. Not to the point where it renders me incapacitated or anything like that, but enough to cause some unneeded stress and anxiety. I worry about the health and safety of my family and friends, especially my children. I worry about finances and job security in this economy even though my husband just made a smart career move to a career about as stable as they come. I worry about the type of world we will have left for our children and grandchildren. The fact that so many have a blatant disregard for our world and its resources is greatly disturbing to me. How so many can turn a blind eye to the effects our wastefulness has caused and then still tuck their children in at night, promising them the world, seems at the very least hypocritical if not a blatant lie.
I worry about the type of impression the world's ugliness will leave on my children and if the leadership and example my husband and I are providing and instilling on their ever impressionable brains will be enough to negate those negative influences. I worry about "values" that are not shared by me and my husband being imposed on my children at an impressionable age. I worry about sending my children to school when we live in a world where school shootings have become, if not the norm, at least too common. I worry that people seem to have such easy access to guns and that most school shooters take guns from inside their own homes, not buy them from some scary man on the street as so many would like us to believe. I worry about a lot.
However, one of the best things I have done for my children is to not let them see me worry about these things. Sure, they've seen me stressed or upset at times, but I am super-conscious, especially around my sponge of a daughter to not voice or express these worries. I don't want my caution or concern (or at times panic and despair) to impact or influence her love and experience of all things new. I want her and our son to have a healthy fear of things like not running out into the street or not talking to people we don't know, but I don't want her to think that the world is some big, mean, scary place that is out to get her and her brother.
She is so much like me in that she internalizes everything and weeks to months later will bring up something she heard ages ago. It always makes me sad to think that she might have been worried about that for so long. So for as long as possible I want her to experience the wonder that childhood presents. To see the world through the eyes of a child is a blessing and those of us with children, who take the time to really listen to and interact with our children, know what I mean.
When I think about the term "innocence lost" it makes me hyper-aware that childhood used to last so much longer...even just from the time I was a kid. Kids become aware of the world's evils and dangers at such an early age that it is scary. Nothing made this more concrete for me than when I was teaching. The lives some of those students had endured are utterly heartbreaking. This realization just makes me want to provide a safe, loving environment and provide experiences that cultivate that "innocent" time and not do anything to shorten it or speed it along.
I want both of my children to one day look back on their childhood with memories of being carefree and excited and fun, but most importantly provided and cared for and most certainly adored and loved. I think that is probably what all parents want for their children.
Despite all my worrying I also have an innate sense that things will work out. I just trust that somehow, someway things will work out for the best. Maybe that's naive or overly optimistic, but it's how I feel 99 percent of the time. So, now that I have shared my neurotic innermost thoughts, what are some of your worries or concerns that you think about on a regular basis?