I'm a worrier. A black belt, Ninja-class, expert worrier. So when it came to making a long-term career choice, motherhood seemed to be a perfect fit. If we were pretending that motherhood is a corporate career just like Human Resources or Call Center Operative, we might say that mothering is a synergistic connection to my core worrying skills.
Both mothering and worrying are extremely future oriented. All about what might happen. She might be an actress/comedian, she might be an "actress" complete with satin knickers and bunny ears. He might be a rocket scientist, he might sit at home on my couch knocking back energy drinks called Rocket Fuel. That one might fail the math test, thus proving the theory that she's being failed by the school OR, worse! she might ace the math test, thus proving to her teacher that your concerns are completely unfounded just like she'd said they were in such a patronizing sort of way.
You hear the phrase tossed around a lot around graduation season - you've got your whole future ahead of you! When Whitney Houston crooned "I believe the children are our future"she said it like it was a good thing.
But here's the thing: when a worrier thinks about the future, it's not a healthy thing. Nope. The very best thing for a worrier is to forget the future is ever going to happen. And, actually, my kind of people have to forget the past too, because worrying about what's happened, and what that means for - you got it! - the future, well...
It only leaves one place for people like us: the right now. Right now is when we see the magic of growth in our children, without wondering what the growth will lead to. Right now is when we can treasure the smell of a toddler head, nuzzled under your chin and waking up from a nap. Right now is when we can marvel at the grace with which your eldest carries herself, somehow conjuring a sense of self that your 'helpful corrections' and endless criticisms surely did not generate. Right now is when we can openly, honestly and without [much] irony say thank you to our spouse for scrubbing the toilet when you know it's his least favorite job in the world.
The future. Its promise is a heady thing, and the privilege of waking up to it daily is not something I take lightly. But for someone like me, with a proud genetic heritage in the art of worrying, I will take my eyes off the future and live fully in the Right Now.
This post is submitted as part of the One Word at a Time Carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. I gather the other contributors are looking at the future like it is a good thing. Which is a good thing.