I never had a fear of flying until my children were born, then all of a sudden at take-off, all I saw were images of clutching my children, desperately telling them how much I loved them as we plummeted in a fire ball to the ground.
“Don’t you ever feel scared?” I ask my levelheaded husband, “Aren’t you worried this is it, our time’s up?” I beg some understanding, a smidgen of ‘yes-dear’, (or even an hysterical “yes damn it, you’re right, we’re all about to die” would even make feel strangely better) but nothing, I just sit next to him continuing to sweat beads of worry for us both. Yes, I have been known to worry on occasion.
Common to all at various times, but don’t you think Motherhood dumps a whole truckload of worry on your doorstep the minute of conception?
The beautiful words “You’re pregnant” were then immediately shadowed by the worry of: Can I even do this parent thing? Will I miscarry? Have a stillbirth? Have a healthy child? Will he get cancer? Will some drink driver run her over? Will he take up smoking? Will she hate me? Will he know how much I already love him? Will she binge drink in college? Will he be happy?…….all this even before I leave the doctors office! The initial elation of being told I was pregnant, long gone as I dragged my burdened mind out into the scary world of tragic possibilities.
But yes, there are plenty of things I can do in this world to prevent and change outcomes. Forethought and careful planning have a place. Yes, I can choose healthy organic foods for my family, cuddle my children endlessly, make sure they brush their teeth, wrap them tightly in cotton wool and never ever let them out of the house. Sure, I can control that, but what about the other stuff.
What about the plane?!!!
“There is nothing you can do” hurts, cuts deep, and cannot possibly be true!…….for, “I am woman! I am all knowing, all powerful, hear me roar!”
“Will the angst, fear, worry and horrific images in your head change anything?” He asks in that calm voice of his. “Will you sitting here creating this drama in your mind change anything? This plane will or will not take off in a minute regardless off what your mind is doing? May as well spend these few minutes checking out what movies we’re going to watch for the next 16 hours”.
Hmmm, I’m now completely disarmed. Giving up my stories and endless chatter about how we’re all going to die, giving up my pretend control my make believe power…..what’s left?
“Are you really sure I cannot fly this plane from row 48B?” I question one last time
So I sit. “Get down” I command my mind as it begins to jump back up demanding attention, nipping at my conscious state. Now what? I think to myself as wide-open spaces appear in my mind. Nope, sometimes there’s just nothing else to do other than put your seat back an inch into the recline position, order yourself a beverage, and just enjoy the ride.