Worrying about the Worryer
Every brood has a child that, at one time or another, becomes the handful. They want to be the center of attention or be in on the action or just want to be noticed.
When you have a family of five, where four of you are children, the voice becomes that much harder to project. That’s even more the case when your Dad is the only parent and he’s got the daily details to deal with. Then you tend to push and shout and be obnoxious in an effort to get attention.
This weekend it was my son.
It wasn’t that he was being noisy or obnoxious or anything. It’s that I could totally relate to what he was going through and it hurt.
My son is a worry-wart. Let’s just get that out of the way. I know of which he speaks, by the way. When I was little I was shy – painfully shy. Some of that was just being a know-it-all, at times. I had no idea that I was being annoying. When I found something fascinating, I wanted to share it – I assumed the rest of the people around me would find that fascinating, too. It was a cold realization that you don’t always meet people with the same interests. I was young, naive, and it hurt. I grew very shy as a result.
I know you’re wondering, by the way, why choose being in the media then? You have to talk and meet people. I overcame most of that shyness. When I met my wife, Andrea, by the way, I still had a lot of that. I was in my late teens and early twenties, and she had none of it. Took me by the hand and that was it.
Any apprehension that might have remained before 2011, when my wife passed away, vanished.
My son had a birthday party to attend. For a week he was thoroughly excited. Then came the day of the party – going to a basketball game – and he was almost in tears. I didn’t back off, I knew he’d enjoy himself…but he has the unfortunate happenstance of getting the worst parts of both parents. He’s shy – painfully so – and has that habit of thinking everyone will like his interests. He also has the tendency to over-worry to the point of near panic. That was his Mom.
I dropped him off, stayed longer than I should have to that he was comfortable…and then he got to go to a basketball game for a party.
Then I sat and worried. I worried and worried as I sat for dinner with their sister. I worried that the phone would ring and he was sulking or said something wrong.
Then he proved me wrong.
After nine I got the text they were on the way back and as he walked in he excitedly informed he how the game came down to the last shot…as the buzzer went off…and the Kings won!
On the way home he was smiling, happy, and had a great time.
I hoped he got the idea…and the lesson that I did at that moment: sometimes you can worry too much. The rare occasion that something bad happens isn’t the worst.
The worst is the damage you do to yourself when you worry too much.