Monday, April 9, 2012

When The Mama Gets Worried

I swear to god. I was this close to calling the Coast Guard about ten minutes ago.
All day had passed without one word from that man, Mr. Moon, and the sun is setting and I didn't have the least knowledge of where he and his friend put their boat in nor did I have the phone number of his friend and neither did directory assistance.

And my stomach was in knots and the blood supply to my hands and feet had somehow gotten cut off and well, you know what anxiety feels like.

My number one rule (and perhaps the only one that truly matters) is Do Not Worry The Mama. I had enough sleepless, worry-filled nights in my life when I was married to my first husband who played guitar and so who had a damn fine excuse for not coming home at any certain time and I can't tell you how many times I planned his funeral, waiting to hear his car pull up in the yard and then by the time he did get home, I was ready to kill him and wanted to kill him but I never did kill him and now I just don't have any energy left for that sort of worry which is mostly okay because Mr. Moon does NOT stay out at night and he is good about letting me know where he is and when he'll be home and what he's doing and do I need anything at the store?

When the kids were little, Mr. Moon and I looked at a house we both wanted to buy. It was beautiful. Old. Ridiculously wide cherry-planked floors, a gorgeous kitchen, a piece of land with it that made our eyes water with joy.
But I would not buy it because I knew I had kids who would be learning to drive eventually, who would be driving home at night because that's what teenagers do, and the house was way up a two-lane country road with no lights, almost to Georgia, and I was absolutely aware of the fact that I couldn't handle the stress of waiting up nights for them to get home safely.

I still think I made the right decision.

I don't do well with worry. I am not a glass-is-half-full kind of woman. If one of mine is supposed to be somewhere at a certain time and they are not, I freak the fuck out. My mind goes places that would make Truman Capote shudder. I have spent my entire life waiting for the other shoe to drop and any disturbance in my tiny little universe seems like the Big One is surely about to happen or has, in fact, already happened and I just don't know it yet.

So when that phone rang and it was him, tired but okay, HIM, my husband, I was so damn relieved. Phone batteries on both phones in the boat went dead. Can this be true? It must. My husband doesn't lie about such things, plus, why would he? He's okay. He's fine. He said to go ahead and eat.

As if I'll ever eat again.

Or at least, that's how it feels right now.

And besides that, he's got a long drive home and I know he's exhausted and of course HE HAS NO PHONE BECAUSE THE BATTERY IS DEAD and no charger with him either.


He's okay. He'll be okay.

All joking aside from what I said this morning (and really, it was no joke) I can't even imagine a life without that man. Every part of my life is touched and held and protected and reflected and joined by his life.

Pure and simply, I love him.
He aggravates the hell of me sometimes, just as I know I aggravate him. From such aggravation an oyster creates the pearl and he is the pearl of my existence.
And when he isn't aggravating me, he is delighting me. He is making me laugh. He is holding out his arms to me as he has done since we first met, offering his body as shelter against all storms.

And he is who he is and that means he is going to go out into the woods in the darkness and he is going to go out onto the sea and he is going to drive down dark highways and he is going to do all of the things that make him the man I do love and I refuse to be like the woman in the Lyle Lovett song whom he tells, "If I were the man that you wanted, I would not be the man that I am."

Until I met this man, I never knew I wanted a man who hunted and fished. I would have told you that that was the LAST kind of man I wanted. He is none of the things I thought to wish for when I wished for a good man except that he is the best man I know.
He is right with himself.
And that is all right with me.

When people remark on how tall he is I sometimes say that he has to be the size he is in order to fit that heart of his in. And I know he did not wish me to worry and it probably aggravates the hell out of him that I am the sort of woman who worries so much.

Look at the size of his hands on that baby boy.
Hands that can hold a world.
They hold my world.

I am just so glad he's safe and that I can quit worrying.
Sort of.

Maybe the blood will return now to my hands and feet. Maybe my throat will open again. Maybe my eyes will quit tearing up.

Maybe I'll quit being so damn dramatic. I wouldn't bet any real money on that one, though.

But life goes on. Thank every power that be.

Now if I could just get warm.


  1. Aaaah. Aaaahh! I am so happy to hear that someone else goes crazy like this! The BHE is very predictable like Mr. Moon so when I can't reach him I seriously start freaking out. Just maybe before we had kids I got in my car and prepared to drive somewhere like a police station or whatever. Freaking the eff out. Then he calls like "WOMAN! ARE YOU CRAZY???" And I answer, "OF COURSE I AM!!!" And then he says, "I'm sorry, babe." And I just exhale.

    Yes. Having a wonderful man is like finding a gem on the ground and wondering if someone is going to take it from you. Like it was some sort of fluke.

    This resonated with me, Sister Moon. I feel you, I'm with you, and I am SO glad Mr. Moon is okay. HIm and his big hands. . . .ah hem.

  2. Grady Doctor- I know I'm not the only one and don't we just suffer? Thank goodness our men so rarely make us worry.
    Now- get back to me when those boys start driving. That's a whole different kettle of funky fish to worry about. Even if they are as good as gold and ALWAYS answer their cell phones. There will be moments, I assure you.

  3. I wonder what that must be like. I say that in the most non-sarcastic or flippant way, truly - I just have no idea; I've been on my own for so long. Either way, it's been a joy to watch your relationship with Glen all these years. I hope I have learned something-

  4. Mr. Moon needs to file a float plan with you and also have a VHF and an EPIRB on board. All those things can save a life. I'm glad that he is back and safe. I know how much you love him.

  5. We must be sisters from different mothers, or related somehow. All the women in my family live on the edge of the worst cast scenario, and all it takes is one hour with the mind running wild to be practically insane with worry when someone is not where they are supposed to be. And to be ready to kill them when they do show up. I feel your pain and I'm so glad Mr. Moon is just fine. I hear you about the house that was perfect except for the long road. I make my kids drive around in a car that's more a tank because I'm so scared of car crashes. I can't begin to know why. Worry comes natural to some of us. You'll warm up as soon as you cuddle up with Mr. Moon tonight. Hugs.

  6. Yes, men and phone batteries. Sheesh!

    I'm glad he's ok too.

    Something about the way you wrote this reminded me of the Yaya story... where the mom and dad were talking and the dad said something like, "Vivi, you kept it interesting" I'm sure you do that with Glen. He needs your drama to balance out all that calm of his. :-)

    Have a sweet night.

  7. SJ- He and I are so very, very lucky.
    You'll know how this feels one day, girl. You will. And that's when they'll stop carding you because you will begin to worry!

    Syd- He usually tells me all of the stuff I need to know. I just forgot to get it from him last night. And he has all that equipment but he was on another guy's boat and I assume he, too, has it but I wasn't sure.
    But all's well. He's home.

    Mel- I have kissed him so much. We women are the worriers, aren't we? It's a wonder we live as long as we do.

    Ms. Fleur- Yeah. Sometimes I think I keep it too interesting. So far though, he keeps coming home. Bless him.

  8. I'm a crazy person too when that someone you are waiting for is inexplicably late or can't be reached, my mind goes off the deep end with doomsday scenarios. But he called -- thank god, and he will be home shortly, and all will be well at the Moon Ranch!

    And I'll bet he never does that again! (the battery thing) Well, maybe. He's great, really great, but he is a man :)

  9. I am not a worrier like that. I've always lived by the adage "No news is good news". Because most of the time, it is and bad news will come if it has to. But I know worriers don't stop worrying that easily and sometimes I am jealous that you and the rest like you maybe care more than I do. Or maybe I am in denial. But I don't think so. I am well aware that bad things can happen to me and mine. They already have. They just don't happen most days.

  10. Whew. Sighing with relief for you and trying to get the sympathetic knot out of my stomach. Worry is s bitch.

  11. I only read Grady Doctor's comment and your response but will join you both in solidarity. Sometimes I'm so nutso about it that I "comfort" myself by telling myself that if something were to happen to my boys, I would just kill myself. That's right. That's what I think, and I'm crazy enough that it makes me feel better.

    I'm glad that Mr. Moon is back safe and sound, though.

  12. That sooo describes anxiety and fear so correctly... I am so happy that he is back safe and sound after all that worrying... but he could have been in real danger, so your fears were right to be.. Hope that the rest of the week goes very well and that you all live together happily... how those boys are so lucky to be born into your family there... hugs from across the pond..j

  13. And there I was thinking I was crazy over the top in my worry as i wait for loved ones to come home at night. thank you for showing me that i am just a mother. we all feel this. glad your sweet man is home safe and sound. love.

  14. liv- We are all human and phone batteries are as imperfect as we are. And so forth.

    Jeannie- Well, again, I think it's all a gene. Just like everything else. Excess worrying does no good and so I don't know why anyone would have that gene but many of us do. I wish the hell I didn't.

    Denise- It sucks.

    Elizabeth- Oh yeah. I do that too. Absolutely. Go straight to "I'll kill myself and then so what?" You are not the only one.

    janzi- Thank you for those hugs.

    Angella- Yep. "Just" a mother. As if there was anything "just" about it in any sense of the word.
    Love to YOU.

  15. I read this this morning in bed on my Kindle and it made me cry for a long time then my son came over because he's meeting his dad here and he yelled at me for crying (he usually does) and I wanted to get up and dressed so I could say hi to his dad but his dad was already there so I missed him (we are friends) and that made me cry some more. Because Mary you've done it right. I know some people who have done it correctly as I see it. You are one. Beth Coyote is one. Alice my Alice is one. I am so lucky to know all three of you to be able to stand in my weird little world and look out and think every minute is a chance for me to turn it all around. I guess that's why I cried part of it I guess so. I read your blog every morning and I marvel at you and the grace with which you move through life.

  16. Teresa Bloomingdale, who had 10 kids, used to write about such worry; babies that won't sleep, feverish toddlers, sick children, teens out late. We do worry, it's part of what makes us who we are.

  17. Madame King- Your son yells at you because he loves you so much and he doesn't know how to make you not cry because he can't fix it all and I understand that. You do too, I am sure.
    I don't know why you think I've figured one damn thing out because I haven't. I have just stumbled down one path after another and my luck has been blind and pure.
    One of the paths led me to you and that's a shining path.
    I guess we're all crying together today and that's a comfort and also funny. I think coins have more than two sides. I really do.

    messymimi- If I had ten kids I'd be dead. I just went and looked up Ms. Bloomingdale and she is pretty funny although why she had ten kids in twelve years is still a mystery to me.

  18. I love this post. I can relate a lot to the worry. Good reminders too. I like what you wrote "...aggravation an oyster creates the pearl and he is the pearl of my existence."

    Thank you for sharing!


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