I’m a worrywart. Mostly I tend to worry over things related to the children. I worry about their sleeping, I worry about their educational future, I worry about them being safe, I worry about them getting hurt and feeling pain. Good thing I’m so good in hiding my worries that the children are not so affected by it. I do have the occasional “Be careful” slip-ups when they are on the slide or doing something that I myself will not be doing (this would most likely be something that requires being a few feet off the ground). I even managed to go on a cable ride during the Floriade World Horticultural Expo with my daughter telling me “you’re doing good Mama, don’t worry just close your eyes” and yes- the entire ride I did close my eyes. I’m surprised that both kids can explore the jungle gyms and the play areas without much hassle considering the many times I am on my toes trying to see if they are safe.
There are also other things I worry about that other parents might not feel the same. I worry that they will be teased and bullied or looked at differently. In a lot of ways they are different than other children. Products of a multicultural family- their hair will never be blond, their eyes light brown, their skin tone different, their palate tends to be more Asian than European and the languages they can speak and can understand is multilingual. I worry if they will fit in, blend in, or in some ways find their place among the multicultural environment that we are in and in the Dutch culture that they are a part of.
I also worry about deeper sentiments rooted to my own. I worry about them getting “fat”. I worry about them growing to be cute chubby kids and then later to be big boned and plump teenagers who don’t know how to feel secure with one’s own body. I worry that they will look at themselves in the mirror and not like what they see. Much as how I have felt in most of my growing years. Good thing they are so easy to be taught when it comes to eating and that they’re eating habits are way better than mine/ours (including their father).
I worry about them being safe. We taught them about stranger awareness and their private parts at an early age so they may be spared from sexual predators. So they may never know the feeling of being violated and not knowing what to do about it. I worry because I know how it feels and how it would have been different if I knew what to do instead of keeping silent for years.
I’m a worrywart. For a lot of ways it helps me to know how to parent in a world that is totally different from what I grew up in. Our children sing songs in different languages, celebrate different festivities, eat and try different food (in as much as Mommy can prepare them). They are kids who know what the food they are eating can give them, why preparing it is a crucial part of the meal and why moderation is a key to keeping them healthy. They know about what their body parts are, why some parts are private and why no one is allowed to touch them. They are still trying to understand about strangers and who to talk to and what to say. The youngest one is the most telling- he probably could narrate the entire family tree if you ask him to. So that part is still work in progress.
As for me, I am still trying to curtail my worrying. After reading Notes from a Dragon Mom, I felt humbled. I cried buckets after reading it and I felt ashamed. My worries seem so trivial compared to theirs and yet Dragon moms like Emily know there are better things to do than to be too caught up with worries. So I chose to be present and I chose to be engaged NOW more than I can ever be. As for the future? I’ll worry about it when it’s there.