“For what it’s worth, it’s never too late … to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or worst of it. I hope you make the best of it.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Unfortunately for my toddler daughter, I do two unhelpful things. I worry, and I process my thoughts out loud.
Recently my 2.5-year-old had a severe allergic reaction to medicine. The first day she broke out in hives. Yet, her doctor told us not to be concerned. The next day, a red rash covered her swollen little body. From head-to-toe, she looked like a piece of Italian deli meat.
I freaked out. She was scared, and we, her parents, were too. For days we lived without sleep on a Benadryl dosing cycle. The hours dragged. Doctors told us the rash could last from seven to 10 days.
A panicked mother
One night she was so upset nothing could console her. I was so panicked that I’m sure this only made her more scared.
We finally got through it. And, after the worst was over, I determined that I was freaking her out because I was so panicked. I needed to check myself.
My worry was not helping her. I decided that at whatever fear came over me, I would be my daughter’s rock. She needed to know that I was not worried, but rather confident in her care.
Scripture says worry won’t add an hour to your life. “And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? (Luke 12:22-31)
Worry vs. control
Sometimes worrying feels like a semblance of control—but it’s not.
I want my daughter to see me as a steady and positive role model. I want her to know that she can trust me, and I don’t want to add fear to her life, especially in difficult times. I can’t guarantee that I will become worry-free, but I can try to exude calm.
Can I become someone who doesn’t worry a lot? I don’t even know what that would look like. But at least when it comes to my daughter, I can try.
Is there something you want to change about yourself? What would you change? How will you start?