A Chilly Walk

Today is the third day in a roll we’ve taken Owen out on a walk in the neighborhood. He looks so cozy snuggled up against Peter in the K’tan. I, on the other hand, am still recovering from the C-section with limited mobility and zero stigma. Two days ago I could barely walk to the end of our street without a break. This whole recovery has been a humbling experience for a ex-Manhattanite fast lane walker to say the least. I walked a few more steps today than I did yesterday. That’s progress.

It was already getting dark and chilly when I came home on my own. As soon as I walked into the door I was overwhelmed by just how warm and homey our apartment has become. For the first time I can say that my heart is full and I love this place we call home. Peter stayed out with Owen for another half hour. The wind picked up and I texted Peter to make sure he zipped his jacket around Owen to shield him from the cold air.

It’s the universal job of all parents to worry. Yet, it is not my job to coddle my baby. I must refrain from becoming an overprotective parent against my own selfish and insatiable worries and desires. There is a fine line between what is necessary and what is comfortable. While we must dress Owen sufficiently for the weather, it neither realistic nor desirable to always be comfortable outside. That’s the beauty of being outdoors. It teaches us to become tougher and to adopt to a new level of normality and comfort. In a similar vein, my worries are mine and mine alone. It should burden no one but myself. Never would I want my preoccupation to prevent Owen from reaching his potentials or to act as a barrier between us.

I have heard time and time again that my mother is worried sick about me on a daily basis. It mattered not what I did or where I went or nowhere at all. She always worried. While I can’t fault her on being a mom it does come at a hefty price. Instead of sharing my thoughts, ideas, plans and exciting adventures, I withheld everything from my mom to save her from worrying (when in fact I know nothing could save her). Ultimately her worry rubbed her of the opportunity to watch me grow and to cherish my accomplishments. When I hold her I had reached Everest Base Camp, she questioned why I must take such a difficult hike instead of vacationing at an all inclusive resort. When I told her about my long distance training runs she asked why I couldn’t just take it easy and save my knees. It seemed impossible for her to share my happiness when it does not exactly align with her expectations. Consequently I stopped sharing. When I climbed Kilimanjaro, I did not tell her. When I ran the New York Marathon, I mentioned nothing. That’s not how I want things to be with Owen. I want him to live bravely and I want to be brave for him.

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