Mothers Worry, link included

High Ropes

7th grade: School Trip: High ropes course-Propelling off mountains

Mothers worry. I ’m sure that won’t be news to anyone. Dads worry too. In fact, dearly departed Joe was, in many cases, a bigger worrywart than I was.

As many of you know, my kid is on a one-week trip to Hermit Island in Maine with his 12th grade class. They are camping alongside the Atlantic Ocean and will experience marine biology firsthand. And I’ll tell you a secret: I’ve never been a fan of taking the kids on trips that include water. When Cole was in 8th grade and his class trip included whitewater rafting, I had a very hard time signing the release. However, I did not share my concerns with Cole or the other parents, but I did quietly find out more information about the rafting company and the level of the rapids they would be experiencing, then unclenched my fist and signed the release. Cole had a wonderful time. Likewise, before the Maine trip, when I learned the trip would include swimming in the Atlantic, whirlpools and being on an island, my heart rate soared. Once again, I Googled the island. I learned that in past years, classes had been well cared for in all weather, including during a hurricane, and suffered nothing more than sunburn and poison ivy. I signed the release and have been completely relaxed about the trip…until this afternoon, when an e-mail from another mother in our class arrived in my inbox.

Severe weather

The e-mail informed us that severe weather was expected on Hermit Island and our kids might experience large hail and severe thunderstorms. Link included.  She then wondered about an evacuation plan and alternate lodging. She also provided a weather link, which I had no intention of clicking on since I had been avoiding checking the weather. She knew, of course, that we could not reach the advisors or the kids because the island does not have cell service. WTF did she hope to accomplish other than worrying other parents, dadgumit?!

I get it. When we’re worried, it is natural to reach out to a friend or fellow parent. If this mom had called me, I would have tried my best to reassure her. However, throwing a loaded weather report, link included, out via e-mail suggesting our kids may not be safe made me angry. It wasn’t a request for reassurance; it was demand that we all worry along with her. I responded to the e-mail with humor, suggesting that our kids would more than likely love the adventure. I stopped short of typing, Don’t worry, be happy.

Did she worry me? Yes. And then I took a deep breath and told myself I had a choice: I could focus on large hail and severe thunderstorms, or on our kids huddled together safe and sound in their tents, a little wet, a little cold, maybe even a little scared, but enjoying their adventure in the moment and looking forward to coming home to whine about it on Saturday.

We all worry; it’s how we handle it that counts. As I go to sleep tonight, I’ll be counting all the great experiences these trips have allowed my kid to have over the years. Really!!


16 thoughts on “Mothers Worry, link included

  1. I think you have to model brave for your kids and encourage them to go for it even when you really want to throw up – Like during my son’s skateboard competition phase.
    Worry loves company, I guess.

    • Oh God, I wouldn’t have watched. Cole never was much of a skateboarder or bike rider and that pleased me. You were very brave!

  2. You have a very healthy attitude about it. I agree—the mom should have not gone the email route. I am sure the school would never put the kids in harms way and that they are all competent in handling situations like this. I suspect you are correct that the kids will have a blast and have a lot of great stories to tell! Good for you for not falling into the worry trap.

    • My mother is a champion worrier. But she never let her fears get in the way of my trying new things. I am really very laid back,but since dearly departed Joe died I seem to worry more perhaps channeling the worry wart in him.
      I think kids like the excitement and drama of a sudden change in plans or weather and our kids seem to rise to the occasion on these trips. I can’t wait to hear all about the trip.

  3. Let me guess this Mom only has one or two kids. When you have 4 you worry but seldom have time to check weather reports and send out e-mails.
    I feel for her, but don’t understand why she was such an alarmist. Talking it out with a friend is a good thing but sending group e-mails just raises everyones anxiety level especially those who would rather be blissfully ignorant. That would be me.
    Hope the kids stayed dry and the weather remained mild.

    • Just heard from Cole briefly checked in to tell me they were heading home. Sounds like he is tried but the trip was interesting and fun. I can’t wait to hear more.
      I have enough drama in my own life I don’t need another Mom to add to it. Blissfully ignorant when you can’t do a darn thing about it–works.

  4. You always prepare me for what I have to look forward too, and give me time to think about how to handle it. When are they coming home? I looked up hermit island. Looks beautiful. Might have to go there myself. In better weather.

    • Just remember—-follow the money. This trip is interesting all the way around. Can’t wait to hear more about it from the kids.

  5. In the past I worried in silence when they played football; first dates; first heart breaks; when they left for college; road trips, and on and on and on. I still worry in silence. Mainly, because I hate receiving the eye roll from any of them!

    However, hysterical posts from other parents are not acceptable. Like you said, there is absolutely nothing you can do other than trust and pray. He’ll return with amazing stories and I suggest you have a few harrowing amazing stories to share with him.

    • You know, its the heartbreaks that worry me most, not physical danger. Maybe because when they hurt we hurt twice as much. I know the eye roll well!
      He just called to remind me to pick him up from the airport–one trip I confused the days a little….but only by one!! And I made it to the airport. Harrowing, amazing, my life…no problem.

  6. Okay, you know I come from a long line of worriers. But I’ve always tried to put on a brave face, knowing when Domer was little (and to a certain degree, even now) he would assume my attitude.
    It’s impossible to control everything (especially weather). All we parents can do is prepare them physically as best as possible and release them into the Hands of a loving Father (who loves them better than we ever could!)
    I’m reminded of one ND football game where they had to empty out the stadium TWO times because of lightning and storms. I was frightened for Domer and his friends, but they survived just fine — and had great stories to tell afterward. Your boy will be just fine and will regale you with similar stories. You’ll see!

    • I’m good with God except for one small point–he is a man. 😀 according to most believers.
      Isn’t it great they have stories to tell? Must be something to empty out a football stadium.
      I was doing great, had not even checked a weather report until Mother Worry Wart sent out her e-mail. Thanks for the reassurance tho!

  7. It’a not healthy to shield all emotions from children yet we don’t need to freak them out. It’s a fine line at times! Sounds like you’ve struck a balance with this. The hysterical school mom should keep her paranoia to herself. Fine job dealing with her! Cole & classmates will *weather* this crisis just fine. I have a feeling the adult leaders may just have situations like this under control.

    • I told all the boys I took to the airport what I tell Cole every time he takes off an adventure: Have the best time ever! Your Mom’s love you so much and before you take a stupid risk or make a dumb choice remember if anything ever happened to our lives would be over. Have fun!
      Our adult leaders are a marvel. Truly there is not enough gold in the world to thank them for traveling with our kids, but we do the best we can!

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