Sunday, September 27, 2009

sniffles, coughs and anxiety

I have a healthy child. A robust, razor sharp, hillariously funny, perpetually adorable child. But right now, my cutie pie has a cold. Her nose is leaking, her cough is rumbling in her chest and I imagine she feels pretty lousy. We got through this rainy day in New York, mostly hanging out at home, playing games and puzzles. I cooked in my kitchen while she played in hers- She calls it her "chicken". She was in fairly good spirits, ate most of her food and managed to take a decent nap. In short, she's fine. It's her mother who needs some help. At night, when I put her to sleep, I go in to check several times that she's breathing through that stuffed nose. My mind can spin out in all sorts of directions about what would happen if this little cold turned into something worse. It's not rational, it's pure fear distilled into daily anxiety. I have to push it down, hold it at bay, try to remember the words of my wise therapist who once told me, "try to focus on what IS, not what COULD BE." I try, I really do. I do my best to keep my angel safe and well cared for, but what of the world of things I can't control? I am in close proximity to those who have suffered real loss, real heartbreak, raw tragedy. I don't know how they survived it. I can barely handle the common cold. So I check her again. I make sure she's breathing, then I take a deep breath myself and try to get a good nights sleep.

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