This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
How many times has your mother told you she was worried sick about you? Maybe you didn’t call to tell her where you were or you came home late. Whenever my mom would say this to me I’d roll my eyes and assure her I was fine. Then she told me I’d understand why she was so scared when I finally had kids of my own someday.
Well, that day was yesterday.
I went to the gym after work and was lost in my iPod world when the guy at the front desk literally came running up to me with the phone in his hand asking if I was Aaron. He said my wife was on the phone in tears and needed to talk to me.
Folks, I’ve been scared over the course of my life. I’ve been in car accidents, I’ve watched people I care about pass away and I’ve been involved in some pretty hairy situations. But nothing — NOTHING — scared me as much as getting on the phone. At that moment, I thought for sure something happened to Will. I mean why else would she call the gym in tears? My legs went numb and my knees started to buckle. A panic the likes of which I have never encountered swept through my body and enveloped my very being. I was scared to death she was going to tell me something awful happened to my little boy and quite honestly, I wasn’t sure if my heart could take it.
Luckily Will was fine. She was in tears because Fenway had gotten loose and was running all over the condo complex. She’s not that well trained yet and she has a tendency to take off running without looking back when she gets free, so MJ was worried we would lose her. We already lost one dog two years ago when my Dad accidentally let it out while he was watching her for us and we never saw her again, so I think that was fresh in MJ’s mind. Luckily she found the dog before I even made it home and all was well.
When I got home I immediately told MJ she had to leave the house for an hour or two so she could have some alone time. The stress of taking care of the baby in addition to a runaway dog had frazzled her. So I took care of Will and it was fun. I put him in a this little pouch thingy so he was resting against my chest, and the two of us took the dogs for a walk. I was the hit of the neighborhood carrying around a little baby and walking two crazy dogs at the same time. I liked the time I had to bond with him and if I had known dogs and babies would garner so much attention from the opposite sex, I would’ve gotten a dog and borrowed a baby long ago!
But even though everything turned out alright, I learned something very important yesterday. That fear I felt when I thought my child was in danger is nauseating. Yet I’m going to live with that fear for the rest of my life, no matter how old Will is. Now I know how my parents felt when I was out of their sight and I have a lot more respect for their constant nagging and forcing me to tell them where I was going.