Thursday, October 10, 2013
Parenting and Worrying
But everything going on in my children's lives got me to thinking about parenting in general. Do we as parents ever really stop worrying? I had the typical first time parent worries before Whitney was even born. Then, when she arrived, Melanie and I worried that she wasn't going to make it. Then we worried about getting her out of the hospital. Then we worried about her seizures. And when she got her 1p36 Deletion Syndrome diagnosis we really learned what it meant to worry.
As time has progressed and Whitney has thrived, my worries have turned to her younger brother and making sure he's reaching his potential too. There was a point when I thought, "Having a typical child won't be nearly as worrisome as what I've gone through with Whitney."
The actual truth is that each of my children fills my heart with anxiety for their wellbeing and success. Sometimes when I talk to Melanie on the phone on my lunch break, that's all we discuss. So I guess, as I think this over, I've realized that life as a father will never, ever be worry free. And that's okay. I just need to learn to cope with concern and enjoy the moments.
Despite the challenges in my children's lives, I got to spend the evening relaxing with them yesterday. We had dinner and finished up a bit of homework. We had time to read some stories and Liam sang me a Halloween song he's learning in school. We wrestled and tickled each other for a while before bed. It was so nice! Just doing normal fun stuff with my children helped force the longer term concerns into the background. At least for a little while.
I guess parenting, special needs or not, will always be a challenge. But stopping for a moment to enjoy my children seems to be a great way to keep the worries at bay.