I've always been a worrier. However, since becoming a mom, that worry has only been amplified. I worry so much that I even worry in my sleep.
I guess in order for you to understand what I'm about to share more clearly, I need to explain a few things first.
Our house is situated on a peaceful, family-friendly neighborhood street that is book-ended by two stop signs. Ours is the first house past one of those stop signs with only a mere four houses standing between it and the next stop sign.
I share this in an attempt to paint you a picture that clearly insinuates there is no reason to speed between these two stop signs.
As the husband and I were getting the boys ready for our nightly evening walk earlier this week, a teenager came tearing down our street, music blaring, obviously with a blatant disregard for not only the speed limit but the safety of anyone who may be out walking, bike riding, etc. Without hesitation, I quickly turned and at the top of my lungs screamed, "HEY, SLOW DOWN! THIS IS A NEIGHBORHOOD, MORON!"
I shook my head as we continued our walk, Maclane in the stroller and Carter walking animatedly ahead of us, only stopping to point out the leaves, an occasional pumpkin and our neighbors' dogs. Evening quickly turned into night and after an uneventful dinner, we put the boys to bed.
After finishing a few things around the house and checking on Carter, it wasn't until almost midnight that I climbed into bed next to a sleeping husband. Exhausted, it didn't take long for me to fall asleep, listening to the sounds of sweet baby breaths coming from the bassinet beside me.
And then it started. I dreamt that I was taking the boys for a walk, a simple walk just like any other day. Walking our usual route, we stopped at all of our usual spots to pick flowers, jump over garden stones and point out hideous garden cat statues.
As we were getting ready to cross the street, I reached for Carter's hand as I always do and before I knew he had launched himself, laughing about something or other, into the street. And that's when it happened.
I dreamt my son got hit by a car. I can hardly type those words without tears springing into my eyes. I can remember screaming in this dream, screaming for help, screaming for him to get up, just screaming. I dreamt all of the things any mother would do in that situation. Shouting for help, cradling her child, calling 911.
I won't, or rather, I can't get into the specifics of the dream because it was truly that unsettling but after willing myself to wake up, tears streaming down my face, I just sat there in bed thinking. It would be an hour or so before I would fall asleep again. A fit-full sleep that graciously welcomed a tiny toddler body into bed around 6:30am that morning.
But as I laid there, a sweaty, sticky tearful mess of a mother, I thought to myself about how motherhood really is allowing a piece of your heart to go walking around outside of your body. I realized how it takes a strong woman to relinquish that kind of control. The kind of control that comes with 10 months growing and protecting this child. Knowing its every move, feeling it grow right there beneath your heart and the peace that comes along with it.
Only to then bring this child into a world where, try as hard as you may, you can only protect them from so much.
I don't think this is something I will ever get used to as a mother. After all, aren't we hardwired to fiercely love and ferociously protect our young with every fiber of our being? But the worry. Oh, the worry.
After writing this all out, I feel silly sharing it here. I feel like maybe I need to start reading more fluff and watching less NCIS and CSI on TV. Perhaps if I spend the day watching nothing but Curious George and reading nothing but Dr. Suess, I won't have those dreams.
Something tells me that worry never really goes away, does it?