Afraid

What if I’m not enough? As I begin my fledgling attempts at lesson planning I feel a small sense of panic. What if I really can’t do this? What if my daughter won’t learn to read? What if she never really understands math? What if she has a learning disability that goes undiagnosed because I think she’s being stubborn? What if she doesn’t perform up to state standards (whether those standards are fair, accurate or properly representative is another issue entirely) and they make me send her to public school?

I try to feed the kids healthy foods but at the same time, just want them to eat. I gratefully watch my daughter chow down on peanut butter and non-organic apples while at the same time hearing the voice of “real food” advocates in my ears. “Sure apples are healthy, but they are the most pesticide laden produce. You are probably poisoning her too.” I give my son bottles of soy formula when he won’t nurse and pray that the soy isn’t going to give him seizures, depression or low testosterone.

Being a mom in today’s world is a time of fear. Not the same fears of previous generations though. Here in the United States most moms don’t worry that their children will starve (though there are days like that in my house). We don’t have to worry that our children won’t make it to age 2, dying of measles, polio or whooping cough. We know that at least the basics of education will be available to them.

We worry about whether our children have the best possible food, but not if they will get fed. We worry about the chemical additives in vaccines but not whether our children will die from the diseases vaccines prevent. We worry that they won’t have the ideal educational environment, not whether they will be educated at all. First world problems.

The truth is. I’m not enough. I can’t be. I can’t control it all, fix it all or create a perfect world for my children to live in. I can only love them and let that love spill into all my involvement in their lives. And when my own love runs dry, I can fall to my knees and appeal to the lover of my soul for more.