Life is scary with family- by Rosanna Leo.

Sorry, kids. This is not a sexy post. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, which isn’t always a good thing. And one of the things I’ve been thinking about is my kids, so I hope you’ll indulge me as I devote my post today to them. You see, they’ve both had their challenges this year, whether of the scholastic or the emotional variety, and I’ve tried very hard to be strong for them.

However, when they’re not in the room, I want to fall apart if I see they’re hurting. Now, aside from my turbulent teenage years, I’ve never been much of a crier. But when it comes to my boys, it appears I can cry at the drop of a hat.

When did I become this person? This woman who worries and over thinks and wonders?

There was never a time when I considered myself particularly fearful. I must admit, I don’t think it’s a useful trait for a mother. After all, with children in the house, one will invariably be asked to corral and remove creepy crawlies, to say nothing of bandaging wounds that would make a Civil War soldier suffer from the vapors. I can deal with most of the bumps and bruises, but the spiders? You might as well ask me to walk into the valley of death.

You see, since birthing my two sons, now aged ten and twelve, I have become wimpy. I can only blame motherhood for this disconcerting transition.  Having a family scared the crap out of me.

Once, I was fearless. I rode roller coasters, watched terrifying movies and swam in murky lakes. I was familiar with every nook and cranny of the downtown Toronto area and wandered at will.  I experimented and stretched myself and tried. I often failed and sometimes succeeded. I enjoyed so many things that now frighten me.

My only reasoning for these sometimes unrealistic fears is becoming a mom opened me up to a new plane of feeling. When I gave birth to my sons, my heart began to pound a different beat. On seeing the faces of my two babies for the first time, I felt things I’d never felt before. I loved in a way I’d never dreamed possible. As a new mother, one aches and is laid bare, becoming totally raw and vulnerable over a squawking, swaddled child.

I learned there is nothing scarier than thinking something untoward might happen to that child, or to the world in which he exists. Thus, real fear entered my life.

I’ll never forget the first time I rode a roller coaster after giving birth. I’d never had problems with them before, but on this particular day, I screamed so loudly one might have sworn Ted Bundy was riding next to me. It wasn’t pleasurable in the least. And if I recall correctly, the epithet that erupted from between my quivering lips was, “Dear God! Let me see my babies again!”

I also became much more impressionable with respect to my entertainment choices. While pregnant with my first son, I’d been troubled by horrible dreams of an invisible assailant attacking the child in my womb. This fear lasted after giving birth. Now I can’t watch those TV shows about serial killers. Nuh uh. No way. I’ll have nightmares. I’ll get hives.  It ain’t pretty.

Don’t even get me started on feelings. My feelings are unpredictable now, zapping me from out of nowhere. The puppies and kitties on the humane society TV commercials make my chest heave with strange emotion. If a child character in a movie so much as scrapes his knee, I am distraught. My husband cackles when we watch Long Island Medium, because the show sends me into convulsions of tears when I see people being “reunited” with dead loved ones.

So has motherhood changed me for the better or worse? I do sometimes wonder. Of course, all the scary moments in the world will never outdo the simple joy of receiving a smile from one’s baby. All the horrors of the universe will never diminish the purity of a child saying, “I love you, Mom.” Motherhood has given me an unending sense of pride and unfathomable delight. And I’ve learned to shelve my wimpy side here and there. In fact, if anyone so much as looks at my kids the wrong way, I want to pick up a baseball bat, and say De Niro-style, “You wanna piece of me?”

Is this really just a mother thing? I don’t know. I’d bet anyone with a strong connection to another living soul can become just as deranged as I am under the right circumstances.

I have noticed one positive lately. Now my sons are old enough, at least they can kill their own damn spiders.

12 thoughts on “Life is scary with family- by Rosanna Leo.

  1. This is so true! I experienced the same thing when I had my kids. I used to be fearless. Read Stephen King and real life serial killer books. Now? Just the thought has me sweating. And I cry over the stupidest things that before kids I, cynical and hard, would have scoffed at.

    But threaten my kids? I’d shoot first and not even bother asking questions later. Seriously.
    I think it’s kids.
    I never felt this way about my husband or any of my other “loves” or even my immediate family.
    So I definitely think it’s got to do with motherhood and that fierceness it endows to us.

    Great post!

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    • Thanks Lynn. LOL, yes, it must be those darn kids. 11 hours in labor with one, 6 hours with the second, and they’ve left me with physical and emotional scars. Doesn’t seem fair, huh? (And I wouldn’t trade a single minute of it).

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  2. Hi Rosanna,

    I think mother’s across the planet can relate to this post. I often look in the mirror and wonder where that carefree, adventurous spirit has gone. I always find myself explaining to both my 8 and 10 years olds that when I’m watching them play, whether riding a bike or just running through the yard, I watch with mother’s eyes. “What are those?” my kid asks. They’re the eyes that see you having fun, running through the grass, playing on the play set and swinging in the trees. But, they also see the fire ant pile you almost stepped in, the broken chain on the play set that almost whacked you in the face and the not so sturdy branch you swung on. I believe our entire make up changes when we become a mother. For me, there was no more adventure around the corner but danger. Like a red, flashing neon sign whenever you look at your kids attempting something new. It flashes like a beacon and no matter how hard you try to ignore it, it comes for you, blaring its colors. But don’t worry…I heard it lessens when they hit their forties. But if the grandchildren come? I think that’s a whole other post.

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    • Oh gosh, Cherrie. That is a whole other post!! And one I’m not prepared to deal with just yet. Give me a few more years. We still have too much sexiness ahead of us…God willing! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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  3. Oh my! Just wait until the girls start trailing home after them and they’re old enough to drive, which opens up a whole new realm of “privacy.” One of my sons was awash in hot and cold running women. They were bold and sassy and they’d show up at the door and ask if he was home. When I said no, they’d grin like the predators they were and tell me they’d just hang out until he showed up. I shooed them away with my broom.

    On other fronts, I didn’t ever worry about me being there for the kids, or hubby, which is strange since he travelled the world over climbing some of the world’s highest peaks. And I did my own share of risky mountaineering.I used to worry about something untoward happening to my kids, though. They’re long since grown, but I still worry about that. They have to outlive me. It’s one of those universal rules. Nothing is worse than losing a child, and it’s not any better if they’re 35 than if they were 10.

    About those spiders… My husband considers them “fellow engineers” and they’ve always been sacrosanct in our homes.

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    • LOL, thank you, Ann! I’m relieved to hear I’m not alone, but must confess, a little worried about those girls. I shall have to invest in a bigger broom, I see. My eldest, at 12, is already way too interested in them!
      As for the spiders, I try to shoo them away more often than not, but sometimes they get “sacrificed” because my shooing tactics are not always effective and little hairy limbs get squished. 🙂

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  4. Great post Rosanna! You wrote exactly how I feel since having my son. It is a life changing experience for sure. I am like a mama bear when I feel my son is threatened in any way. I am afraid of heights now, of roller coasters, things that I used to enjoy. As for spiders…. ugh… I still feel eeeeeek when I see one, but cannot show it in front of my son. So you are definitely not alone in this. Girls? We are ok for now, he is only 10 and still at “girls are yucky, Mom” stage, even though he has girls chasing after him 😀

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    • OMG, Eniko, the girl chasing begins so soon! I have a ten-yr-old too, and even though he mostly makes fun of the girls, I can see the interest beginning as well. It’s a matter of time, chica! Thanks for coming today.

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  5. I have two kids almost nine and almost eleven, a boy and a girl, so I will get to worry over both girlfriends and boyfriends (lucky me!) I totally understand how you feel, when my kids have problems at school or with friends, I ache inside. As for motherhood making you mushy, I tear up at the drop of a hat. I’ve gained some strength, too. I was so terrified of spiders as a kid that one day when I stayed home sick from school, I was lying in bed and saw a spider in the corner above me. I was so afraid if I left it would get in my bed, I was pinned there for several hours until someone came home. Now, I am married to a Hindu and though he’s not a vegetarian, he doesn’t like to kill bugs, so I have perfected a technique for getting rid of most creepy crawlies. 1. Get a glass. 2. Quickly place over disgusting vermin 3. Slip stiff paper under glass 4. Carefully remove from house as if carrying nuclear material. 5. Remove glass and jump back so it can’t get you…

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    • Karin, that is wonderful. I shall apply your spider technique with much excitement. I hate killing them, as much as they freak me out, but sometimes it’s me or them. Thank you for your comments. And good luck with those future girlfriends and boyfriends!

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