“What should I blog about tonight?”
“How much you love me,” Josie says.
“Yes, I will.”
She smiles with delight and surprise.
Try as I might, I cannot separate love from fear entirely. I love her, my first born. Knowing her has lit the dark corners of my soul forever. She laughs often. She is deeply sensitive to others and is quick to help…anyone. A friend recently texted me. She thanked me for raising such a generous daughter who offered to loan dresses to her friends for a dance. I had no idea.
And I fight the fear that clouds my love for her. Will she get college scholarships if she gets a “C” in math? Couldn’t she have practiced a wee bit more for her violin competition? Will boys taunt her sexually when she goes to high school? Will they touch her against her consent? Will she develop an eating disorder like the 20 million women in our country suffering from anorexia nervosa? On and on it goes. The remedy for this chain of anxiety? Be present. Admire how she paints her nails and reads her English book. She hops about the kitchen, looking for a snack. She jumps up and teases the dog, English book in hand.
I fear the swimming pool filter ever since I opened it and found two small mice, spooning each other, dead.
I fear centipedes and the carpet in our guestroom sheds. When a filament comes loose and I’m not wearing my glasses, it looks just like a … CENTIPEDE!
But I’m not afraid of snakes and I’m not afraid of javelinas (collard peccary), despite the recent attack in Phoenix. I can overcome my fears. I CAN stop worrying over what has not happened and enjoy what is in front of me, right now.
Circuitously, I have offered my advice. Pay attention. Be present and kick fear to the curb.