I’m a big scaredy-cat.
I don’t know if it’s because I work for a media company—where I hear bad news all the time—or if I’m just wired to be afraid, but afraid I am and I can’t help it.
It started when Isabella was a newborn. I would be in another room and a gripping fear would overcome me, fear that my baby had been stolen, or is choking on her blanket, or some other awful scene that comes straight from a horror movie. I’d rush into her room, only to see Isabella lying peacefully, nowhere near harm’s way.
These kinds of fears never really went away. Every time Isabella and I are home alone and I hear the slightest noise, my spine stiffens and a cold chill sweeps through my body. When we’re walking in a crowded place, I grip her 8-year-old hand tightly, just in case a stranger wants to take her away from me.
Justin teases me about my constant paranoia. He encourages me to relax, to just trust that bad things won’t happen to me. But what if they do? I see at work every day that bad things happen to people all the time—innocent, unsuspecting people who didn’t know what was coming. I could be one of those people!
I know this is no way to live, however, and I’m taking small steps in an effort to relinquish my constant fear. The biggest hurdle I’m trying to overcome right now is the bus stop.
For some reason, Isabella’s bus driver isn’t allowed to pick her up at the end of our driveway. Instead, she is picked up at the corner, which is about 100 feet from our house. But our house is built in such a way that I can’t see the corner from inside the door. So, unless I walk outside and peek around, I have no way of seeing Isabella get onto the bus.
This makes me a nervous wreck, but I’m trying to let go. After all, the bus driver has several stops along that road, so she can see Isabella the whole time. Plus, we live in a historically safe neighborhood. But still I imagine a strange man pulling Isabella into his car, all while I’m sitting in my warm, comfy home. I wouldn’t know until a couple hours later when the school would call to tell me Isabella’s not there. I imagine what I would tell my co-workers, my family, Isabella’s dad. I wonder how I would go about the search efforts, and if I would be one of those parents who searches night and day for years until I found her. (Or didn’t find her. *shudder*) I imagine the regret I would feel for the rest of my life. Why didn’t I just walk outside to see her get on the bus??
See, I’m warped.
But every day, Isabella does get on that bus. And she comes home every day perfectly happy and unscathed. She goes to bed at night and is still in her bed every morning (despite my constant fear that someone’s going to take her in the middle of the night). The track record indicates that nothing bad is going to happen to her. And even though the possibility does exist and I need to be prepared for that, I also need to loosen up and trust that God’s going to take care of us no matter what. So, when Isabella walks out the door every morning, I stay inside the house. Not because I want to but because I need to. I need to give up control and let life take its course.