19 hours ago
Monday, August 16, 2010
Life before I really had stuff to worry about
These are "worry dolls." Guatemalan legend has it that if a child tells one worry to these itty-bitty dolls, then slips them under her pillow at night, the dolls take away the worry and the kid wakes up worry-free. My mom sent me some in college. I think she got them from a museum gift shop though of course, now Amazon sells them. I've long ago since lost my dolls but my sister, who somehow manages to hold onto everything in life, kept hers. I was at her place this weekend, spotted them and wanted to give them a whirl. So I "borrowed" them.
Last night, I slept with them under my pillow. Only Sabrina came into our bed at midnight, complaining that her belly was aching, then kicked me on and off through the night. There was no real period of deep sleep for those dolls to have swiped my worries, though it would have been nice if they'd absorbed some of the impact to my thighs.
Every once in a while, I'll see something from my pre-kid life and get kinda sorta melancholy. It could be anything, like a pair of skinny jeans that used to fit me (those, I've managed to keep because I think they will somehow inspire me to lose the baby weight). Or my wedding photos. Or my old college textbooks and notebooks, with scribbled notes to friends like "Are U going to the party tonight?" Or virtually the entire city of Hoboken, NJ, where I lived for most of my singlehood.
But man, the worry dolls, they got to me. What were my worries before I had kids? They seem so trivial now though back then, of course, everything was a Big Deal. Work deadlines. Guys who dissed me, dip-heads who liked me. Little tiffs with friends. Not having any great plans for a weekend (GASP). A too-short haircut (oh, OK, that's still trauma-inducing).
I went out for drinks with my friend Brooke tonight and I mentioned the worry dolls and how laughable my worries from my pre-kids days seem. "Back then, you weren't as equipped to deal so everything seemed like a bigger deal," she said. "I had silly worries back then because I was silly!"
Wise words: A lot of things did loom larger back then because I wasn't mature enough to deal. Then I had to grow up really, really fast. In one day. In an NICU. Today, I'm much better equipped to handle concerns. But, still, the worries are of the supersize kind. They're mostly all about Max.
I wish I could go back for just one day to my twentysomething life, knowing what I do now, and relish how carefree things were.
Is there something in your life that makes you a little melancholy about those pre-kid days?
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 11:30 PM