anxious summer

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I’m always a bit of a nervous nelly. A little high strung. A little control-freak-y. But this summer, I seem to be *mostly* a nervous nelly. I am having an anxious, anxious summer.

It’s not too clear to me why this period has me up at night or dealing with butterflies in my tummy or dreaming scary dreams. It seems to be about my boys though.

This summer is all about new experiences for them. Andrew’s been in camps that are not associated with school and Isaac started horseback riding. And for a mama that keeps her boys closecloseclose, it’s been a little nerve wracking. When I take them places, I usually hold hands with *both* of them. Even 9 year old, Andrew. One of the pillars of my parenting is all about: keep-them-close, keep-them-safe, keep-them-from-wreking-havoc. And so, to pass them off to near strangers to do somewhat dangers activities (like ride on the backs of strong, powerful animals and get in giant pools of water for swim lessons), it’s been sort of a big deal for me.

What if? What if Andrew, under the false illusion that he CAN swim, tries to jump into the deep end and no one notices? What if Isaac’s riding teacher underestimates Isaac’s impulsivity and wiggliness and he falls off the horse? What if he gets STEPPED on by the horse?! It’s hard for me to trust and let go a little. But dang it, I’m doing it anyway.

Instead of thinking myself as a nervous nelly…maybe I should reframe it. I am BRAVE.

We are in new territory, folks. *older* kid territory. Which means a little more letting go. A little more trusting them and trusting others and watching these boys GROW and impress me. But, sadly, for a worry wart like me, it also means some sleepless nights. Sigh.

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Luckily, my nervous energy has expressed itself through compulsive cleaning. The other day I disassembled the heating units in our living room to vacuum out the dust. I scrubbed the kitchen sink drain with a toothbrush and baking soda and rinsed it with boiling vinegar. Our junk drawers are organized, the tops of the ceiling fan blades are dusted and there are no more crumbs in between the couch cushions. So, maybe I should think of this as a win-win. Letting the boys do new things not only is good for THEM, it makes for a mighty clean home.


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About robyn

I stopped teaching Kindergarten in 2005 to become the mom of two crazy boys here in Brooklyn. At first I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I needed to pour all my time and energy directly into my sons, but I realized somewhere along the way that being a rockstar mom meant not only taking good care of my boys, but also taking good care of myself. And taking good care of myself means pursuing something creative...just about everyday. I started Made In Brooklyn to motivate myself in my creative goals as well as share my work with others and perhaps inspire them in their own creative journeys.
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5 Responses to anxious summer

  1. Oh man, Robyn, I’m sorry to hear that you are going through an anxious time but as a mom I can tell you that, unfortunately, you will ALWAYS worry! I know you have circumstances with your boys that create different kinds of concerns, but I think that your thoughts are so natural and all part of being a caring parent. Carrie is 26 years old and I still worry!!! Ugh. I want to tell you that I think you do a fantastic job parenting your boys – the places you guys go and the things you experience as a family are so varied and fun. I’m not going to tell you NOT to worry because, mom-to-mom, that would just be silly, but I will encourage you to hold this little thought: What’s the best that could happen? xo

  2. Vicki Dill says:

    Worry?! I may have stopped calling every time something happens in NYC but I have not stopped worrying! I am so happy that the boys are having these growth experiences with all these fun activities. And now you have an uber clean home!!

  3. Pauline says:

    I know what you mean – the worry is an odd thing and difficult to control. It’s easier to keep them close and be in control of the situations. Then again, it’s empowering them to be better equipped for life when we are not with them all the time so I try to keep my own anxiety under check by focusing on that!

  4. erin says:

    Oh man, please come be nervous at my house! I want to clean everything but finding at 30 weeks I no longer bend or stretch very well.

    I’m sorry you’re so anxious. I’m sure the boys are loving their activities and are growing from them. I love that, Deb – “what’s the best that can happen?”

  5. Debs says:

    Ahem – daughter of almost 28 and son of 24 and I am still Queen of Worryland! That anxiety gene kicks in at the maternity unit and it never goes away. The trick is not to let them see it, the hardest thing to do is give a big reassuring smile and let them go their independent ways. You have to learn to trust that others will be more than capable of keeping an eye on them. My son used to be a dare devil with no fear of climbing and was also an expert escape artist the minute you let to of his hand. I used to always dress him in bright colours so I could spot him in a crowd! Parenthood – toughest job in the world, but also the most rewarding.

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