I'm a bit of a worrywart.

by Stacey Graham

Photo credit: piddix.blogspot.com
I was an active yet clumsy child so spent a majority of my time in arm casts, recovering from knee surgery or in full leg braces. Thus, my spidey-sense is on high alert whenever my children attempt anything remotely dangerous, say... opening an olive jar without proper eye protection.

"Careful! The olive juice is highly caustic and can cause blindness!" I would yell out.

"Mom, it's olives floating in water. Relax, would you?" My four-year-old is a mouthy little thing.

"Yes but one drop and... I got nothing. Give Mama an olive and stop smirking."

I've read the warning insert in boxes of tampons about Toxic Shock Syndrome every month since I was sixteen, positive that one day I'd be the topic of an after school special on the dangers of absorbency. I'd picture my mother looking distraught while I gasped out my last breath in the hospital room.

"Mom, I know you told me not to use the Super Plus..." I'd start.

"Shhh, darling. That's not important now, but since you mentioned it, didn't you read the inserts?"

I see where my daughter gets it.

We live atop a mountain in the wilds of northern Virginia, fraught with danger as the girls bring
home various forms of flora and fauna. Poisonous fungi fill bags in the kitchen next to benign white-capped mushrooms. The eight-year-old studies them intensely but I'm not sure for what purpose. I quietly deposit them into the large kitchen garbage can while she sleeps and tells her the woodland creatures carried them off at night the next morning. She bought that for a while but now I get the "Mom is insane" look and she wanders off for more specimens. The others climb trees, scale woodpiles where I'm sure snakes hide, they're always on the lookout for the fox kits that live on the lane (though they are quite aware of the risks of rabies and stay far away) and sneak toads into the house in small baskets. The little voice that tells them to be cautious? The one ever-present in my head but not theirs? It's at Disney World without protective headgear.

I'm sure they get this from their father.

Visit Stacey at her blog where she would like nothing more than to wrap each and every one of you in cotton wool and feed you chocolate. On her off days, Stacey enjoys zombies, ghosts and telling dirty jokes. 


  1. Oh, I know. There was so much less to worry about BB (Before Boys). Our medicine cabinet exploded into a regular pharmacy with the advent of the guys as well. Unbelievable, what they can figure out to try. They're resistant to suits of bubble wrap, I've learned...

  2. And here I thought it was just a boy thing! We even had a praying mantis living in our kitchen once. I couldn't evict him because my younger son named him. It's not easy to make coffee with one eye on the mantis and the other trying to measure out grounds!

  3. My first two are more cautious than the rest - either I eased up by the last three or they've found a way around my neurosis.

  4. Or maybe your neurosis has found its way around them! <3

  5. ROFL!

    Me, too. I'm such a cautious mother, though I try to relax.

  6. I thought I was the only one who read those things. I actually chant "toxic shock! TOXIC SHOCK!" from time to time.

  7. The scariness of Toxic Shock is intense. I remember first hearing about that in a middle school health lesson and was TERRIFIED. And I bet there's something horrible that could happen as a result of olives. In fact, maybe olive jars need a warning insert....

  8. Why do I get the feeling you're mocking me?


  9. Oh no! Sorry Stacey :) You can have the last laugh should it ever come to pass that a jar of olives does turn out to be dangerous. Until then....good luck with the wild mushrooms!


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