Friday, February 29, 2008


Just passing this along !


Is there a magic cutoff period when
Offspring become accountable for their own
Actions? Is there a wonderful moment when
Parents can become detached spectators in
The lives of their children and shrug, 'It's
Their life,' and feel nothing?

When I was in my twenties , I stood in a hospital
Corridor waiting for doctors to put a few
Stitches in my daughter's head. I asked, 'When do
You stop worrying?' The nurse said,
'When they get out of the accident stage.' My
Dad just smiled faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little
Chair in a classroom and heard how one of my
Children talked incessantly, disrupted the class,
And was headed for a career making
License plates. As if to read my mind, a teacher
Said, 'Don't worry, they all go through
This stage and then you can sit back, relax and
Enjoy them.' My dad just smiled
Faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime
Waiting for the phone to ring, the cars to come
Home, the front door to open. A friend said,
'They're trying to find themselves. Don't worry,
In a few years, you can stop worrying. They'll be
Adults.' My dad just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

By the time I was 50, I was sick & tired of being
Vulnerable. I was still worrying over my
Children, but there was a new wrinkle. There
Was nothing I could do about it. My
Dad just smiled faintly and said nothing. I
Continued to anguish over their failures, be
Tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in
Their disappointments.

My friends said that when my kids got married I
Could stop worrying and lead my own
Life. I wanted to believe that, but I was
Haunted by my dad's warm smile and his
Occasional, 'You look pale. Are you all right?
Call me the minute you get home. Are
You depressed about something?'

Can it be that parents are sentenced to a
Lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another
Handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of
Human frailties and the fears of the
Unknown? Is concern a curse or is it a virtue
That elevates us to the highest form of life?

One of my children became quite irritable
Recently, saying to me, 'Where were you? I've been
Calling for 3 days, and no one answered I was worried.'

I smiled a warm smile.
The torch has been passed.

(And also to your children. That's the fun part)

I remember asking my parents this a few years ago when I thought they were supposed to home from a trip...they were not happy ( but maybe secretly they were) and the reply was "We are grownups and if we want to take a few extra days we will". Maybe the torch has been passed back and it is time to worry about them. Guess that's why we are called the "Sandwich Generation"



  1. Great story. Thanks for passing it along. :-)

  2. Thank for stopping by an listening to my whining. I have to do it from time to time.
    The parent thing I can relate to. My son is almost 22 and I still worry about him and fuss over his lack of speed in which he moves to the future. But I also know that I will miss him when he's gone. I pray that is his life will be good. And I worry when he's out too late. I call and leave a message to make sure he's Ok.
    So I know the the worry and fuss never ends. My parents worried about me until the day they died.
    So, don't think your over reacting to you worry and caring.

  3. Oh I enjoyed your post today! Unfortunately, I am a HUGE ball of worry! I worry about everybody and then some....hence the new patch of white streaks running through my hair...haaaa!

  4. Thank you for sharing about your Christmas cactus. This one was on the deck for the summer, too. Perhaps that's what caused the blooming. It had three blossoms in November, but none for Christmas. I'll take the flowers whenever they come as it's ever so much more attractive in full bloom.

    Your post today reminds me of myself. I am sandwiched between two older generations and two younger ones. The temptation to worry is great. Last night my daughter called saying that her truck wasn't working right but she would baby it home and then call me to let me know that she had arrived. She forgot; I called her. She sounded kind of exasperated with me. Oh well, just wait until it's her turn! :>

  5. Janet-

    Sometimes I get the call from my college son wondering wheer we are because he wasn't able to get in touch with us. I find it very endearing he wasnts to know what his family's doing!
    Nice post!

  6. Totally get it. I am always trying to track down my Mom...even more often than she looks for me!


  7. Hi Janet, The cake is good! I remember my youngest (30 yrs. old) calling us frantic because he hadn't heard from us after our last flight. Felt so good. :) As parents you Never stop worrying.

  8. I don't think we EVER stop worrying about our kids. Mine are 33 and 31 and I still treat them like they are babies (they tolerate it somewhat). NOW I have three precious little grandchildren that I worry about. It never ends but the blessings far outweigh the heartaches.

    Hugs - Judy

  9. I think parents need to understand that when the tables turn on them, they must respond graciously to the worry of their children. We had a similar situation a few years ago. My OH's parents flit off whenever they want and never tell anyone a) that they're planning on a trip, b) where they're going, and c) when they plan to return.

    I chided them for being irresponsible and not letting anyone know about their trip and my OH's father jumped down my throat about not feeling the need to keep his children informed. He was so rude about it that now I don't care where they go or what they do. If they get in trouble or have health problems when they're gone, his rudeness made it very clear it's not our problem. I hate to be mean, but it's hard to worry about people like that.

    My mother, on the other hand, always wanted to know where I was going, liked hearing about it, and never would have considered going off on her own without telling me and calling to let me know she had gotten there. When the time came that it was my turn to look after her, she appreciated every interest I showed in her.

    I think my OH wishes his parents had been more like mine, and I know I do.


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