I know my blog title claims I over think everything but I must confess there are a few things I am pretty sure I do not over think they are certain things that I am only aware of because throughout the years I have observed my friends doing them, things like:
putting sunscreen on
owning hand sanitizer
not letting your kids go to a public restroom by themselves
not touching any surface in public unless you cover your hand first with your shirt
using your foot to flush
using your elbow to press the buttons on the elevator
So many mom's, and even some dad's, seem to have this radar, that is always present, detecting possible danger in every place they are, possible things to be afraid of, the gift to for see potential bad situations. Thank goodness I had a roommate in college who knew all about the dangers of wearing headbands in your hair and how they, over time (of course) squish your brain. I had never thought about it:)
Thank goodness I dated a guy who's entire family was obsessive about sunscreen and sunglasses, otherwise I never would have known. No, I still do not own sunglasses...but I have been meaning too.
I had a very clean, happy home growing up with two parents who I am pretty sure were not overprotective. Which I am very grateful for. Some personalities may not do so well in that environment. I do not know what kind of person I would be today if someone was always making me afraid of things like germs and safety and protected me so much I was too afraid to do anything like go to college or leave the state where my parents were.
I get the magazine Real Simple and in January there was a very amusing and yet interesting article written by a woman who grew up with an overprotective mother. She talks about how as a young child she used to help her mom be on the lookout for "unidentifiable smears" on the checkout conveyor belt and baggers who put the fish and fruit together. Then she says in about 7th grade she found her mom's "unchecked impulses" much more difficult to tolerate. She tells about getting called into the principals office because her mom had phoned the school because she could not remember if she had peeled the waxy edge off of her bologna and wanted her daughter to check before she ate her sandwich. Then she talks about being older and ending up sitting in her host families living room in France watching the Berlin Wall come down on TV while all her friends had hoped a train to see it in real life. But she couldn't go with them because of all the fearful thoughts of porta-potties and dust. She ends up realizing later in life, after years of fighting with her mother about everything from fire retardants all the way up to the fear of fear itself, that she realizes her mother's fears were an act of love.
I love my children but why does my brain not see the world like that? How could I be 40 years old and have 7 kids and not use the wipes that grocery stores provide for you to wipe off your cart before you touch it? How could I have raised 7 kids and been the kind of mom who let them cry in their bed when they were babies? How could I have left them with babysitters without a second thought? And worse of all.....gasp....how could I let them spend the night at friend's houses? How could I have never owned a baby monitor? You would think at some point all these naiveness would go away....wouldn't you? How could I let them go to college 2 time zones away? How am I fine with letting my 19 year old go on a mission to Estonia in April and not have a single fear or worry...well other than getting the passport, visa and immunizations on time:)
I am trying to think what I am afraid of so I can tell you and all I can think of is spiders, my kids ending up on parole, :) being misunderstood, being late, and being ignored. I used to be afraid of driving in the snow but living in New England and being forced to face this fear has made it so that is no longer a fear....not a love..... but not a fear either :) Maybe I am suppressing all my other fears, or maybe I do not know myself well enough to know what they are :)
Even if I end up not having any other fears and never end up being an overprotective parent be ever so sure that I have other issues that are definitely ruining my children :)
I noticed that as I was re reading this post and fixing grammar etc I found I kept remembering things I was afraid of and had to keep adding them to my list that originally simply said I was afraid of spiders.