Life's Tool Box – A Guide for Parents and Educators

August 26, 2011

Irene – A Worrying Mother’s Dream?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Life's Toolbox @ 1:15 pm
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           I admit it – I am a worrying mother.  I come from a long line of highly skilled maternal worriers, women who reminded you seemingly constantly of the world’s dangers whether you were heading to the playground or college.  My heritage includes mothers and grandmothers who worried empathically for you, who when they were cold, insisted you wear a hat (as per my story – Your Mother’s Cold –Put on a Hat – by drronovick on  So it is not surprising that I can’t move from the weather channel this morning as Hurricane Irene barrels up the coast, right towards our Long Island home and our New York based family.

One of our sons is home with us, and will certainly be drafted today into hurricane preparedness.  We’ll tie down lawn furniture and bring in loose trashcans.  Depending on how nervous we get, and how dire the predictions, we may move some items off the basement floor.    The flashlights are already out on the counter, and water bottles are getting filled.  Our other two sons are ensconced with their brides in NYC apartments, and it has been quite a summer of firsts for them.  Both couples newly married they have had all kinds of novel experiences, but this week lived through their first earthquake (minor, thank goodness!) and now a hurricane.

As a card carrying worrying mom, I am wondering how long I can hold myself back from my genetic destiny.  Almost as powerful as the storm’s surge is my motherly urge to call and tell them what they already know . . . have water, get flashlights, etc.    Undoubtedly I will get the same response I always gave my worrying mom.   An impatient “I know”, or a look that says “Do you think I’m an imbecile?”

Somewhere along the line, I learned that powerful worrying muscles are best complimented by equally powerful faith and optimism.  I don’t know if I could meet the approaching storm, or if I could have worked with 9/11 and other trauma victims, or if I could have raised children, without the  positive mindset to balance a natural inclination for worry.  I hope I have imparted that sunny vision to my children at least as well as I have shared the darker concerns in life.

I may be able to restrain myself from asking the unneeded questions for a few hours more, but I know my daily phone call to my sons today will be too much of a temptation.  I will have to share a bit of worry, prompts for precaution, and weather warnings.  I will know, as I do so, that I am only stating the obvious.  I may have only sons, but I have certainly gifted them with some of my anxious genes, and I doubt they are watching the news with carefree abandon.  They aren’t heading into the surf, or planning on hiking in the rain.  They are likely settling in with their hurricane survival kits, cozy with their spouses.  We will all, with worry and genuine concern, hunker down.  We will mix up our family’s signature cocktail of anxiety and hope, praying that all goes as best as it can, that not only our loved ones but all in the path of the wind and rain will weather the storm, and will be looking at sunshine in the near future.



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