This post was written by Marla Garfield. Photo: wburris/Creative Commons
Here is a list of things I've become terrified of since giving birth last year.
1. Sitting my son on the roof of my car, forgetting he's there, and then driving away. (Note: I do not have a car.)
2. Taking a header down the subway stairs while carrying my son in his stroller.
3. Letting go of the stroller on the subway platform and suddenly there is a brisk wind and the stroller rolls out of my reach and onto the tracks.
4. Having to go to the circus. ("That should be number one," says my husband.)
5. Being the fat mom in my son's circle of friends.
6. That my cats will claw out the side of my son's face and we will have to get rid of the cats.
7. That my son will become allergic to the cats and we will have to give him a lifetime of potentially toxic shots because there's no way in hell I'm getting rid of the cats.
8. That having one child means I've committed to having two because I do not want him to be an only child, and that I won't have the wherewithal or money to have two.
9. Leaving my son in a store, on the sidewalk, in the park, in baggage claim, or in some other public space . . . I'm not going to finish this one.
10. That our dryer will catch fire or a lit match will magically fly through my son's bedroom window screen while I'm in another room asleep on the couch, and before I smell it, it will travel to his crib, and because we just bought him really cute glow-in-the-dark pajamas that are no doubt toxic, they will catch fire and then the cats will jump into the crib to save him and oh my god this is the worst story ever.
11. Losing my job and forcing my family to live in the car I don't have.
12. Never learning how to install a car seat even though I will be living in said car.
13. Having to actually use the CPR methods I already forgot from that class I took that one time.
14. Not being able to get my son into a school, and therefore having to home-school him. (Note: We intend to send him to public school.) I haven't the foggiest clue how to home-school a person. Or: desire.
15. My son coming home from college (or, if he won't go to college, band practice, or if he won't join a band, a surfing competition, or, if he's not a surfer, his ceramics commune) and telling me he's joined a religion or political party that I cannot relate to even a little bit, and therefore I will not know him at all.
16. Blueberries: Nature's Rotund, Evil Agents of Choking (TM).
17. Being so afraid of outlandish, insane probably-will-never-happens that I'll be afraid of these things for the rest of my life.
18. That I will become one of those mothers who becomes preoccupied with shaping her child to live out her lost, abandoned dreams. (Note: This list is very depressing.)
19. Forgetting what it feels like to cuddle in bed with him while he holds onto my hair and sucks his thumb.
20. That you don't have a list that looks exactly like this one.