Sunday, December 12, 2004

Worry Appropriately

Week #18 of LTM

I hope you all had a good weekend; ours was calm and peaceful. I took the kids to see Polar Express today, which was fun, until we were leaving the theater and Kellen suddenly realized he didn’t get any popcorn. Never mind the Coke, M&M’s and Milk Duds he had. Life wouldn’t be any good unless he had popcorn …. and since he didn’t get any, things did get ugly for a few brief moments. But overall, it was a nice afternoon together.

I wanted to share with you a photo of Kendrie from Friday. I have no idea if the timing of that boy making fun of her hair was coincidental, or if it just so happens that her hair is finally getting long enough to style in some way, but she came to me Friday morning and told me she wanted to wear her hair “spiky” to school. So, we experimented with gel and hair spray and I though the final result was cute as a button. Boy-ish, yes, but maybe that was her intent after all.

Lastly, I’d like to share an excerpt from a book I am reading titled “Protecting the Gift” by Gavin De Becker. It’s about keeping children safe and protecting them from violence, and it’s a really good book with regard to safety precautions and good ole’ common sense. I’ve had it for years and re-read it about once a year as a refresher. This is the first time I’ve read it since Kendrie got sick --- and although the point of the book is violence and safety, the following paragraph struck a chord with me as something that could possibly pertain to parents of children with illness as well:

“Children raised by chronic worriers may or may not become victims of violence, but it is absolutely certain they will become victims of worry. In "The Heart of Man", Dr. Erich Fromm tells of a mother who is always interested in dark prognoses for her child’s future, but unimpressed with anything favorable that occurs: “She does not harm the child in any obvious way, yet she may slowly strangle his joy in life.” This is an interesting way of putting it given that the literal meaning of the word worry is to strangle and choke. People who grew up smothered by unwarranted fears that haunted them into adulthood will see the wisdom in this saying: Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.”

The obvious difference here, in my simple opinion, is how can the parents of a chronically ill child NOT worry? Our worry is most definitely NOT unwarranted. Worry about medications, side effects, and the symptoms and disease itself? Worry about recovery rates, relapses, statistics and cures? But it really resonated with me that my worry (or my husband’s worry) could become my child’s worry. Above all, I would hate to dampen any of Kendrie’s happiness with life, (or happiness with her spiky hair!) because I was too busy pondering the “what if’s” to simply enjoy the moment.

So, it is decided. My New Years Resolution #2, right under “Skip More” is going to be “Worry Less”. Or maybe it would be more correct to say, “Worry Appropriately”. Much like the adage “Don’t work hard, work smart” I think I’ll be more aware of my worrying and what good, or what lack of good, it is actually doing me. And try to convince my husband to enjoy himself a little more in the New Year as well. (Let’s be honest …. He’s a much bigger worrier than me!)

Hope your week gets off to a good start,



Um, today was actually a pretty good day. Yeah for me!


When my mom took me and Brayden and Kellen to the movie and at the beginning they had a commercial for some hospital place and can you believe every kid in that commercial had cancer? I saw kids with no hair, kids with ports, kids with iv poles ..... when it was over I looked at my mom and whispered, "just like me"

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