My daughter worries about unlikely things. She fears that I will somehow spontaneously vanish, or that we could get lost and never find our way back home. She fears that, if her 5-year-old brother gets angry enough, he will run away and never come back. That the cats will escape, even though they demonstrate no will to do so, and the dog will follow.
When I was her age, I had similar anxieties. Unlike me, my little sister was swift to fall asleep, and when she stopped responding from her post on the top bunk, I would climb up and shake her awake again to make sure that she hadn’t died. It’s funny now; it wasn’t then.
Worries rob us of our joy, I know that full well. I have hated my mind for what it can do – how it can take the dearest things in my life and transform them into figments of pain and loss.
But right now, my worries are teaching me something, too. They are showing me how much I love life in all of its dull dailiness. They are underscoring how much people mean to me, how good it feels to go freely out into the world. They are proving to me that if this was all I were given, it would be enough.
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