This afternoon, I did something for the first time: I took both my children out by myself. Actually, I have done it before- I think I’ve taken them to two doctors appointments, but at the time, Charlotte was still a sleepy infant, so that really doesn’t count.
To be honest, I was really nervous and almost didn’t do it. Taking Grayson and his wheelchair anywhere is an undertaking, and add to it a crazy toddler, and well…that’s been enough to keep us home for about 20 months. But this afternoon, the weather was perfect and I just couldn’t bear the thought of another stretch of hours cooped up in the house with nothing but Veggie Tales and medical supplies to keep us occupied, so we loaded up and went to a park about 15 minutes from our house.
And it was fine. Easy even. Anti-climactic. No one got hurt, no one had a seizure, and no one even had a meltdown. Grayson sat in his chair and listened to his headphones, Charlotte played on the swings and slides, and I sat wondering why in the world we haven’t done this sooner. And there were plenty of friendly people at the park who I’m sure would have helped me had I needed it.
It seems to me this is a theme in my life- I am, by nature, a somewhat fearful person and sometimes miss out on things because I’m being too cautious. As a child, I worried a lot- I was terrified my house was going to burn down, I was going to be kidnapped, and that I was going to be coerced into buying drugs (???). As an adult, I still worry about physical tragedies- I worry daily about getting in a car accident, for example.
I also worry (and somewhat obsess) about the future of our family. For months, I’ve felt the heaviness of big “decisions” weighing on me: decisions about our family size, school for our kids, and where we will live. Of course, none of these issues need to or will be decided today, or even this year, but that doesn’t stop my brain from working overtime stressing and over-analyzing them. And I’m afraid I/we are going to choose “wrong”.
Then this past week, three separate times by three different people (I think God knew I’m stubborn and needed to hear this three times to get it) talked to me about fear and control. Basically, I’m reminded that almost nothing about my future is in my direct control. We can plan to have or not have another child, with our ideal spacing in mind, but…look at my other two children. Nothing about their lives and how they came to be was in our plan. So what makes me think I have to “decide” or “control” if and when a third child joins our family? I can stress and worry about where we are going to live in four years so Charlotte can go to the best school, but then I look at where I was four years ago and that kind of makes me laugh. Four years ago today, I was sitting in the PICU with my sick newborn, just getting a taste of what I had no idea was ahead of me. Control? Not so much. I do know that we have been blessed and taken care of so abundantly thus far and have made it through some really rough times in the past few years, so I know whatever the future looks like, it will be ok.
It actually feels rather freeing to know that I’m not in control, that I don’t have to be afraid and obsess over these things. That I can just enjoy the ride…and hopefully more frequent trips to the park.