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?
Love this! Never heard of "worry dolls" but I think I need a set right now. :) What a fun topic, too--I think I'll link to this on Vitamin G. :) xoxoReplyDelete
Oh, of course I have the worry dolls. I have the hat with them emgedded on the ribbon around the rim, I have the bracelet, I have the pin to wear on my shirts.ReplyDelete
All of it.
Because I worry. About the future, and who will be with my son when I'm gone.
This is a good tie-in with what I was thinking earlier when I saw your request for special needs parents who felt the experience of special needs parenting had made them a better person. Of course special-needs parenting has made me a better person--more patient, less prideful, more understanding and with solid-gold priorities. That said, I am only partly joking when I say I often wish I were the same "horrible" person I was before! Absolutely, if that meant Bertrand had a shot at living to see high school, or walking some day, maybe suffering through fewer painful tests and experimental procedures... Unfortunately, I guess I am stuck with being a better person. ;)ReplyDelete
I think about going back all the time, not to relive it, but just to visit me in my 20's to slap a little sense into myself. I was such a drama queen!ReplyDelete
I need a set of those for my daughter. She worries needlessly. I think it ties in to her Sensory Processing Disorder (or whatever it's called this week).ReplyDelete
Sometimes I'll see someone reading a book on a cushy chair at Starbucks. In my mind, they are there because they don't need to be anywhere else. I miss that freedom sometimes.
It's a double-edged sword, though. I miss the freedom but would never want to give up my babies or the richness of life that I have with my husband. Maybe I could just travel back in time to young me and tell her that she needs to enjoy her life more.
I definitely think about those days sometimes. But I think they are more enjoyable in hindsight. I couldn't appreciate them at the time because I wanted to move on from that life. I wanted a family and career and all that jazz. It's too bad I couldn't enjoy it. Oh to sleep in and go shopping.ReplyDelete
cleaning up poo regularly makes me long for my pre-kids days!!!ReplyDelete
Oh, and Deb - I'm with you on the Starbucks envy! If I ever get a moment out of the house on my own (I have a nice husband) I feel like wearing a BIG badge saying "I have three kids, I am NOT a layabout!" x
I'm with The Empress, I worry about who will be there for my son when I'm gone. And of course everything else between now and then with my 4 children! A 14 year old autistic son and an almost 18 year old son who just signed for the Marines!ReplyDelete
The smell of vanilla. My Cabbage patch doll smelled like vanilla for some unknown reason and every time I catch a whiff, I remember a time I wasn't as sick as I am now. I was still sick, but it was easier to be ill as a child. It's when you're an adult and have real responsibility that illness and worry and anxiety get in the way.ReplyDelete
There's a great book for kids called 'Silly Billy' by Anthony Browne who gets some worry dolls from his grandma because he worries about everything. But then he worries about the worry dolls having to carry the burden of all his worries so he makes some worry dolls for the worry dolls....ReplyDelete
I think that sums it up for me too. I always find things to worry about. Always have. I find the best remedy is to exercise. Even if that's only because I am more tired at bed time so likely to sleep better. But I still worry. I am so envious of those who are able to NOT worry. My husband is one of those. Lucky, lucky duck.
I'm a worrier. I had some of those worry dolls back in the day too. The thing that gets me now is seeing young couples and thinking back to those days before kids and how nothing back then is as big as it is now. That carefreeness. I think then and then I think about how thankful I am for all the living I did before I had Sebastian. And I'm still living and enjoying but in a completely different way.ReplyDelete
I can remember "pre-kid" when my big concerns were, "would my dog pass his obedience class" & "where should my hubby & I go on vacation"? Now hubby & I consider ourselves lucky if we make it out to Applebee's. My husband & I have talked about how care-free our lives once were. Now I worry about things like, whether or not my son will need another open heart surgery, I worry that he will be bullied by other children, I worry that he may not grow up to be independent & if not, I worry about what will happen to him when I am gone. And most often, I worry that I am not doing enough for him......... Perhaps I should purchase some of those dolls:)ReplyDelete
Before I had dd and my life changed in an instant, I had my ds...and legitimate worries (hey, even a typically developing healthy child has things to worry about). But before kids? My worries were laughable. Real at the time, but trivial looking back. When you've had to spend years worrying about your child's tracheostomy, thinking about worrying about if a boy liked me or not sound silly.ReplyDelete
Deb, I'd never give up this life, either, for what I had back in my twenties. It all seems so...shallow compared to the richness of what I have now. But I wouldn't mind reliving that carefree feeling!ReplyDelete
Yes, the worries I had back then do seem laughable. Is it weird that I never really worry about who will take care of Max when I'm gone? I guess I figure his sister will be there for him. I don't worry too far into the future, I tend to focus on more immediate worries about Max in the next few years. Like, will we ever be able to toilet-train him? Will his speech get clearer? Will he get more words? Will he learn to read? Write? E-T-C.
Is there something in your life that makes you a little melancholy about those pre-kid days?ReplyDelete
Yeah, pretty much everything, if I let it! Time marches on, though. Nothing to it but to do it!
Gosh I don't know - I have the same thoughts about the money - what in the heck did we do with all of our money before we had kids? And double incomes? The silliness of it all - but I guess that's how life works.ReplyDelete
i LOVE this post. on so many levels that i can't even begin to describe.ReplyDelete
I totally need these worry dolls. For myself. I don't know what I worried about before I had kids. But right now my worries are about my kids - are they happy, are they nice, are they liked, will they be successful in life. The past few weeks I've been worried about lice. Yes, LICE and my kids getting it. So worried in fact that I've lost sleep over it and my husband thinks I'm insane and my daughter (4yo) keeps asking me to check her hair bc she knows I'm crazy. Yup, I definitely need the worry dolls, for sure.ReplyDelete