It Hurts Us More

When you have a child, the adage goes, “it hurts you more than it hurts your child.” that applies to everything from the common cold to your child’s first heartbreak. It doesn’t get any better as they get older.

Adam’s first semi-formal dance is this weekend. The weather people are calling for a snowstorm to hit Friday into Saturday morning. I can’t help but feel my anxiety level going up with wonder. Will the dance happen? If it does, will other students bail because of the weather? Will parents complain because the dance ISN’T postponed? Will the caterer show up? Will the DJ be able to get there? Hey – it’s NOT my event! Why am I so worried? It hurts me more than it hurts him. Being a young man, Adam lets things slide. If it doesn’t work out, he shrugs and moves on. While disappointment is certainly a part of life, it’s great to be able to limit or ward off those disappointments when you’re young.

What’s so frustrating about these winter storms is how absolutely gorgeous it is today. Mother Nature loves to give us the calm before the storm. This is a perfect winter day: crystal-clear, blue skies, a light wind and no hint of bad weather. Everywhere you look, online, on TV, the newspaper, the dire prediction is there: we’re in for a storm. Now that I haven’t been “working” the storms in a while in radio, they don’t bother me as much. I don’t dread the storms or worry about them. I generally embrace the storms. The December 20th storm that socked everyone in, sent Doug and I out into the winter wonderland for a ride from South Jersey to Northeast Philly to visit my parents. During a storm is the BEST time to food shop. While some supplies may be down because of all the bread-and-milk runs just before the storm, the aisles are empty, the staff is pleasant and you have nice, pleasant conversations with anyone you come in contact with. They’re nuts, just like you. Go ahead, take a ride – get your errands done. The only vehicles on the road are the brave few and the salt and plow trucks.

Here I am, embracing storms, but so concerned that my son and his friends will be disappointed if their dance is postponed. We picked up his suit this week; today he gets a haircut; I washed his new dress shirt so it’ll be comfortable to wear; I ordered the wristlet for his date and will pick it up Saturday. If Adam is concerned about the weather or a postponement, he’s not showing it. Of course, this is the young man, who with his father, camped out in sub-freezing weather last weekend, without a working bathroom at their campsite and of course, no hot shower for two nights.  (Ugh!)

When Adam was swaddled in a blanket in my arms, I worried when he spit up (and boy, was he a spitter. When he started getting ear infections after he went to nursery school, I felt his pain and discomfort. When he was bullied for the first time in elementary school, I wanted to throw myself in the line of fire and shake the shoulders of the boy doing this to ask, “WHY?” We learn our children have to learn on their own. It hurts us to see them fail, or be bullied or suffer a disappointment. In the end, we guide them, console them and let them know we are there to help.

I hope the dance happens and Adam and his friend enjoy the heck out of the event. I hope the snow doesn’t get in the way and everyone is safe and warm at the event. For now, I think I’ll make my food shopping list and try not to worry too much.

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