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How many fears and worries did you have this week?

fears and worriesThe second hand on the clock ticks. Reliable. One second. The next second. Then the one after that. Marking these minutes of my life.

As they tick by, today, I am sitting with intense anxiety.

A late night text from my kid back home wanting Grandpa’s home phone number. Except that he was supposed to be AT Grandpa’s home.

He’s there because I’m in the mountains of Pennsylvania enjoying a long weekend with my mother.

But I don’t know if he’s okay.

I don’t know if he’s hurt.

I don’t know if he’s in jail.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I know his phone is broken — the vibration mechanism doesn’t work. We elected not to fix it this week to save $200. But when the ringer is off, like when he’s sleeping, there’s no way to rouse him.

Another million terrible possibilities race through my head.

And then I remember a question that came to me recently via an email newsletter I receive from Beth at My Simpler Life:

 How many fears and worries did you have this week?

How many did not come true?

So, sitting here 1000 miles away, unable to reach my child by phone, my anxiety creeps up.

And that question brings me back down.

He’s likely sleeping now. At Grandpa’s.

I’ll bet he’s upset that he worried Grandpa.

I’ll bet he’s doing all he can to make up for it.

He’s fine.

He’s fine.

He’s fine.

And he’s grounded. For life. Plus a week.

How many fears and worries did you have this week?

How many did not come true?

But I still don’t know what’s wrong.

The solution is simple, you see.

Call my dad.

Figure out what happened.

So, with a deep breath and a fear of indirectly disappointing him because of the irresponsible behavior of my eldest son, I text my dad:

Can you call me? Had a worrisome text from E late last night.

The phone rings. I answer it with deep trepidation. My father asks what’s up.

That’s awfully casual, I think…for a grandfather who is angry with a child who didn’t come home until 2 a.m.

How can he be so calm about this?

I share the information I have: the 1:33 a.m. text wanting his phone number.

Dad seems puzzled.

Thing One came home from work early due to a power failure at the restaurant. He picked out a movie. They watched it as a family. Grandma, Grandpa, Thing One, Thing Two and the dogs. They went to bed around 10.

Maybe he snuck out?

But his car’s in the driveway.

And all of a sudden, Dad chuckles.

He knows why E needed that phone number late at night.

It’s the password to the Internet.

He was safe and sound, responsible and unhurt, thoughtful and un-jailed all night. He just wanted to get online.

How many fears and worries did you have this week?

How many did not come true?

 Photo credit:  Dr. Matiz on Sxc.hu

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