When Worried: ‘Laugh at theTime to Come’

You guys, our son is on the verge of crawling, and I am mildly terrified. He’s learning and moving way too fast. And I’ve been complaining about it to everyone, “I’m not ready!” I have these visions of constantly needing – very soon – to run in two directions at once, and my mind splits just thinking about it. He’ll find, choke on, and probably have to go to the emergency room for all the many scraps of everything on the floor that we can’t seem to keep picked up. Except that we won’t be able to get to the emergency room on time because I’ll have to wrangle a toddler also, and do I have to buckle them both into car seats in this scenario?, or maybe I’ll have to leave her with a neighbor I don’t fully trust yet because we’re still new in the neighborhood, and then something bad will happen to her as well. Yikes! So I’ll have to call an ambulance, and that costs $1,000, and can the toddler come with us, anyways?, and then we’ll never afford a new couch or be able to visit siblings out East, but it won’t matter because I’ll be completely depressed.

But this guy I know wrote “strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” (Proverbs 31:25, RSV). Other translations say that she laughs at the future. Gotta tell you, when I heard this line at a great lady’s funeral a couple weeks back, I immediately knew I have to stop whining about this normal child development stage. It’s imminently in our future, and dragging my heals (pun intended!) to accept and welcome this new reality will not cause our little bundle of joy to drag his heals. Nope, he’s gonna keep finding his all-fours stance and rocking back and forth, and soon forward motion will happen. Backwards motion has already happened, and I’m not ready for that either. But it’s not really about me, is it?

I can’t say I’m looking forward to that stage where he’s “mobile”, as they say, but I am resigned to it. Better than that, I’ve stopped complaining and started remembering that other stages I’ve feared have not turned out as horrific as I imagined. For instance, our toddler is very busy, but not adventurous and definitely not a climber. I’m so grateful for that! She loves to play in the sink, but when she does we put that energy to use in finally getting the pots and pans washed; and our bib features a minor miracle: water lands in it and doesn’t spill or seep out. So it’s a win-win, and not a nuisance. When she plays in the sink we get work done, instead of creating more work for ourselves like mopping up water.

Now, I have a feeling that Joshy crawling will be a nuisance, in that it creates more work for all of us. He’s a different animal when it comes to movement. He’s a curious little guy, already exploring more than Rebecca ever did at that age. But my job is to help him, not hinder him. And I want to look forward to his growth and development, not fear it.  So I’m telling you all here today that I’m trying to laugh at what is to come. In this case, it’s having two kids who move around a lot and get into things and possibly get dangerous things into them. Ha! It will be … fun…!

Phew. That’s about all I can muster today. Thanks for listening, er, reading. I’ll let you know when the big day arrives. If I can gather the strength! I’m tired just thinking about it.

Love, MC

PS: since drafting this and declaring that our daughter isn’t a climber, she has fallen down the stairs (she’s fine) and begun moving a stool around to see how she can get up to the table. So much for having a less adventurous kid. Ha!


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