When my first daughter was born, I was overcome, for a long time, with worry about something happening to her. I would conjure up all these horrible scenarios in my head, in an attempt to be prepared for any and every eventuality. In my nightmares, she'd stop breathing in her sleep, I'd trip on the stairs and somehow fling her out over the railing (instead of holding on tight like instinct tells us to), and other even more horrible occurances.
Now that my second daughter has been born, I have surprised myself with the lack of irrational worries. At least, worries about her. Strangely, my mind has again fixated on Anna. I'm worried I'll be changing Silvia's diaper, or in some other way distracted by the baby, and while I'm not paying attention for those brief moments, something terrible will happen to Anna. I'll look down at the baby for a moment and Anna will step in front of a bus or pull the TV down on her head or fall down the stairs or be kidnapped or run away... the list goes on and on.
The major adjustment for me, this time around, has simply not been what I had pictured. I was prepared to be tired, to be stressed, to have a short temper with my spouse, to be emotionally overwhelmed. I am all those things, too, ofcourse. But mainly, I was not prepared to be so incredibly anxious about my oldest child every time she steps out of my line of sight. I thought I'd be worried about the baby, but compared to my first run at parenting, Silvia seems so easy.
It's this fear of losing Anna that's become my most haunting mother-of-two dillema.
It's amazing I ever leave the house. Who knew I was so dark and dismal inside my own head? I'm hoping, as with all life changes and major adjustments, I'll settle into a stronger sense of confidence and maybe, just maybe, I'll figure out how to let go (ever so slightly) of the need to control Anna's every move and let her explore the world, just a little bit, on her own.