Yeah, 4:20 a.m. People keep recommending I take some pot tincture for my insomnia, but so far, I have failed to try that particular remedy. The other suggestions include melatonin and Ambien. The former helps on occasion; I have yet to try the latter. Any solution must be powerful enough to slow down the racing of my brain without impeding my ability to check Nick’s blood sugar and make necessary corrections – a tricky balance.
I woke at 3 a.m. into a state of worry, as if someone had yanked me out of bed and chucked me directly into a pit of fear. Despite all my white middle-class privilege, I still struggle to count my blessings in the wee hours, instead adding up all the ways in which I’ve failed or am about to fail or will probably fail in the future. Clearly my mind goes off the rails in these moments – if it stayed on the reality tracks, the list of successes achieved and obstacles overcome would not be so negligible. Instead, concerns reasonable and irrational twist together and tie my brain in knots. (Evidently affecting my ability to string together metaphors as well.)
I worry about my older daughter getting along 700 miles away. Moving into a neighborhood I’m not sure is safe enough. Having enough money to thrive instead of barely survive and all the tension that comes with living on the edge of financial ruin. Finding happiness. I worry about my younger daughter’s post-graduation life. Am I helpful enough, encouraging enough, as she prepares for the next chapter? Why haven’t I made more money, saved and scrimped to have more to offer her, offer all of them? She works so hard, has such talent. How can I help her choose the path that will reward her? I worry about my son, whose diabetes is, in some ways, the easiest problem to address. After all, we can test his blood sugar and follow clear directions to bring it down or raise it up. I wish I could test his ambition, be confident that the treatments his dad and I consider will have the desired results. I worry they don’t recognize how much they are loved, how good our family unit is despite the ever-present squabbling and difficult times. I worry they take for granted what they should value and value what we haven’t been able to provide. That all the years of baseball, softball, surfing and various camps attended on scholarship don’t add up enough to compensate for the bickering, the lack of travel, the nonexistence of college funds. That they will grow bitter. That they will think I’ve failed them. I worry I have failed them.