Why Can't I Stop Worrying?

When it comes to worrying, I'm definitely the mother of all worriers. Although I have been a bit of a worrier my entire life, I believe that some of my worrying as of late is rather justified given the tragedy that has befallen my family.

I can talk myself out of some of the worry ('That's just ridiculous, Kathy, you're being silly.') and Hubby can logic me out of a lot of it ('Why are you worrying about something that hasn't even happened yet and may never happen?).

But sometimes a worry just grabs hold of me, right in the guts, and won't let go no matter what I think or do.

This particular worry is about Baby E. Today, he is 16 months old. And he is the most darling toddler I currently know.

And more than all the other boys, he reminds me the most of Joey.

Not necessarily in looks - that honor goes to Knox; in fact, sometimes I have to do a double take when I look at him.

I'm talking about his personality. Baby E is so busy and curious and happy. And he loves people. He will go right up to another child and offer him something or he will smile at and reach for adults.

He is a complete Mama's boy who also adores his Daddy and wants to do everything he does.

Just like someone else I used to know.

And the hugs he gives! It is well known in our family that the best hug to ever have received was a Joey hug. That kid gave The. Best. Hugs. Sincere, genuine and tight.

Baby E's are identical.

He's 16 months old, People, and he gives tight, sincere, purposeful hugs. And when he does that, I melt into those hugs, and I stand still no matter what needs to be done next or how soon it needs to be done.

And I think how like Joey that is. My heart and stomach fill with a comfortable warmth, but only momentarily. Then the worry douses that warmth with an icy sickness that says, 'So what will happen to Baby E?' That question is left nagging in my head, and I hold on out of sadness and panic.

I can't help it. It happens all the time. Every time I make a connection between Joey and Baby E, I feel it. I feel a fear that something will happen to him just because I love him too much.

I worry about the three other boys, too - believe me! Every time they complain of a tummy ache, a toe ache, especially a headache, I worry until that ache goes away.

But Baby E has come after Joey, a surprise gift sent to help heal me. And that he has. My heart is less bitter and my mind is starting to acknowledge God again, even if some days it is to curse Him.

Sometimes, when I am alone with Baby E and he does something Joeyish or gives me a certain familiar look, I will stare into his eyes and whisper, "Joey?" I know that sounds like I am off my rocker. Maybe it is wishful thinking that God sent him back to me. That He gave me a second chance to be a better mom (at which I'm still failing miserably some days).

I always joke that Joey's and E's souls met in Heaven, and that Joey gave him the scoop about us. Some days, I really believe it's true.

Last night, Hubby sweetly offered to clean up the kitchen after dinner so I could play outside with the boys. Baby E was climbing up and down the slide like a pro, kicking the soccer ball, having a blast. I remember when Joey was exactly this age he started climbing on the swing set. I was terrified he would fall, but Hubby just let him go.

When Baby E does cute and funny things, like putting a bucket on his head and talking to himself to hear the echo and then giggles hysterically, we look at each other - Hubby and me - and say, "You know who else used to do that? Joey." We'll answer in unison.

It was dusk last night, and we were ready to go inside. I had Pandora on a kids' station and our favorite song from the Madagascar movies came on.

We all broke out into a dance party - Joey style (forget Gangnam Style - Joey had it going on). And do you know what? That little turkey Baby E was busting a move right along with us. He was dancing and giggling and probably looking forward to the next dance party.

And as I laughed and danced, I felt that panic rise in my stomach again. I wanted to go over and scoop him up and put a shield of armour all around him, that psychic's prediction ringing in my head.

But I can't. I couldn't with Joey, and I can't with my other boys, my Hubby, my parents, or with anyone else I love.

And I also can't spend my time worrying about something that hasn't even happened yet . . .or might not ever.


Do you have reoccurring worries about your family? Or am I just crazy?
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