I lost my mother-in-law.
I mean, I literally lost her. In San Antonio. I couldn’t find her for an hour and a half.
John’s parents are staying with us for the week. They don’t live in Texas. They’ve been here before and know our area a bit, but they don’t live here. She and I had gone to pick up John’s car from the dealership. We drove there together, she let me out, I got John’s car, and we got on the service road to go to my house. We weren’t far from the house, and I thought she was only a couple cars behind me.
But then I got home, and she wasn’t there. After a few minutes, I called her. No answer. She didn’t have her phone. But if she’d been following me, she shouldn’t have been more than a few minutes behind me, even if there was traffic or she got stuck at a light. Time crept on. I waited in the driveway, watching the cars go by. She wasn’t in any of those cars.
After 20 minutes, I decided to try to find her if I could. I didn’t know if she had any money, or if she knew how to get home. I didn’t know if she knew enough about where we lived to ask anyone how to get home again.
So I drove for about an hour, checking gas stations for the car, looking for accidents or cars pulled off the road. I was in an absolute panic, thinking that I’d let this happen. Thinking that she could be hurt, or gotten into an accident, or be crazy lost. I kept driving, because I needed to do something to try to help, and it was all I could think to do.
Finally, my father-in-law called. She’d found her way home, after being lost. I breathed a sigh of relief. I called John to let him know. I drove back home and hugged my mother-in-law.
And then I had many glasses of wine.
All this leads me to believe that having children is going to turn me into a walking panic attack. John called me last night, and I had to tell him, “I can’t talk now, I lost your mother!”
I’m telling you this story to explain one of my greatest fears when I think about having children: That I will literally die from a panic attack.
I freak out about a lot of things. I can’t help thinking of the worst. The planner in me kicks in, it starts considering scenarios and what I would do. I start to thinking, I need to look up the hospitals and start calling them. I should look to see if she took her wallet. I should drive down all the side streets and see if she’s there. If she doesn’t come back in another hour, where should we look? Should I call the police department and see if anything’s been reported?
I can’t help it, my mind goes to the worst things and starts planning. In many ways, this is a bad thing because I usually get worked up over nothing. It’s usually fine. Just because John isn’t answering his phone doesn’t mean he’s in trouble – it probably means his phone died.
Someday, I will probably get better about this. It’s useless to worry about everything that crosses your path. I know that. But I can’t help myself from freaking out.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to say or ask right now, but I wanted to share that with you.