Why is it that stresses and worries are notorious for making an appearance somewhere between 2 and 3 am? Most nights I'm a great sleeper. Some nights, though, I'm just not on my A-game and wake for no good reason; my eyes pop open and immediately my heart starts beating with such force it actually moves the sheets with each beat. When that happens, I know I'm done for because the microscopic review of my life is about to begin...
Up last night (see what I did there?) were the following concerns: Am I spending enough time with my son? Am I present when it counts? Is my son's college savings on track? How am I going to pay for the new roof and windows? Are the dogs getting enough exercise? Have I researched GMO's enough? Should I move my underwear drawer to the right side of my dresser or keep it on the left? Was that goat cheese or Feta on my pizza last night? Note to self: learn the difference between goat cheese and Feta. Am I happy with the that new Glade Plug-In scent?
As you can see, I start out with very real concerns - weighty issues that deserve attention and can certainly cause a spike in blood pressure. But quickly, my thoughts deteriorate into mind-numbing drivel that, in the still of 2 am, seem equally insurmountable and urgent in nature. What is that? I promise you I worry enough during my waking hours - there's no need to parlay this worry-fest into a full calendar day. And anyway, isn't there some law of averages that states if I'm stressed enough for 3 people during my waking hours, then someone else should take the night shift so I can get some reprieve?
Well, can there be!?
All fringe concerns aside, my constant source of worry is always my son. It's no secret that I'm a single mom. And even though I have the full
support of my ex husband and the best boyfriend this side of "The
Notebook," there are times when I lose sight of my "village" and feel fully responsible making or breaking my son's life. This is one of those times.
*Gasp alert* I've worked out of the home full-time since Ryan was 12 weeks old. (I know, I know - just finish reading, you can call CPS after.) And because I worked full time, I wasn't the one to discover his first tooth, I wasn't the lucky recipient of every post-nap grin, I didn't get to take him to the park at noon on a Tuesday "just because." I missed out on so much. Once he was in school, I missed out on most school parties, I never got to be room mom, I didn't get to go on school field trips, and I never got to sit in the pickup line and watch him bound to the car proudly waving his latest art project.
The amount of
guilt I feel about all I missed is immeasurable. But working wasn't my choice, it was necessary. Look, I'm not climbing the rungs of some corporate ladder in an attempt to bust my way through some proverbial glass ceiling. While I'm lucky enough to love my job, its primary purpose is to pay the bills. I'm home for dinner every night and home every weekend. It's stress free and it affords me peace of mind.
Because being solely responsible for the roof over our heads, a car to drive, heat in the winter, cool in the Texas summer, putting food on our table and money in our savings, braces and clothes, shoes and summer camp, extracurricular activities, vacations and - well, everything - is terrifying. (the paralyzing variety)
He's pushing 13 and he's pushing limits. Where do I find the ratio between letting go, but keeping hold of the reins? What if I don't teach the right lessons? What if he just stops listening to me? What if he realizes that I'm winging this whole Mom gig and calls my bluff? What if, what if, what if?
So much uncertainty - I just need some absolutes...
Seriously - what IS the difference between goat cheese and feta?