I forget sometimes that I don’t have to worry about everything. About unwashed dishes, for instance, or the fire going out. It’s easier to remember how pointless worrying is when my kid starts freaking out about his book report.
“I think it’s due tomorrow.”
“I thought you said it was due Thursday.”
“But it might be tomorrow, and I forgot to bring the book home; I only remember chapter two and the report’s supposed to be on chapter two AND chapter three.”
“Has it ever been due on Wednesday?”
“Then why would it be due tomorrow instead of Thursday?”
“I can’t believe I forgot the book at school.”
“Either way, you know, it’s going to get done. It’s not like a plague or anything.”
“I guess not,” he said skeptically.
But the next morning he’d started to freak out again. “I think I’ll just tell her I’m sorry it’s not finished and that I can stay in at recess and finish it. Although I’d rather not miss recess.”
“It’s probably due Thursday in any case.”
“We just don’t know.”
Man. Dude. It’s a book report. And it’ll get done. It always does. I might have thought that while I was walking to the car, but my wife said, “Isn’t it fun to watch our neuroses play out in our children?”
Oh, yes. So fun.
It’ll get done. I worry so much about getting everyone to school and work on time, but they always get there when they should. I worry about car accidents and black ice, about the slope of the kitchen floor, and the weather stripping. What’s all this worry for, anyway?
On Tuesday, I chopped a bunch of kindling but I couldn’t get a particular log to break. When my ax stuck for like the forty-third time, I lifted the whole damn thing up and whacked it against the log below it, which promptly broke into three perfect pieces.
What’s all this struggle for, man? Where’s my faith in my own experience?
The kid jumped into the car Wednesday afternoon and said, “It wasn’t due until Thursday, and I finished it today anyway. Chapter three was about aliens in everybody’s yard.”
Of course it was. Why’d we expect anything else?