Somehow, I've raised a worrier.
Anna is suddenly worried and concerned about the weather and what will happen if it rains too much or if lightning hits our apartment. She's worried about being able to remember where she lines up at school. And comically of all, she is worried about all things related to college. Yes, college! Nevermind the fact that it is 12 years away, she wants to straighten out all the details and logistics in her head right now.
Personally, I don't understand the worrier mindset -- I can easily let go of things that are not in my control or that are in the distant future. For the most part I don't worry, fester, stress, over-analyze, or work myself up about stuff.
So as she comes to me with question after question after question . . . brow furrowed . . . sometimes panic in her voice . . . . I answer all those questions. But inside I just want shout - "It's a long time away! Stop worrying about it!"
The last few days we have had some in-depth and repetitious conversations about college. Here are some snippets:
When I go to college how will I know what class I'm supposed to go to?
You'll have a schedule.
But what if I forget? I'm a forgetter.
You can print your schedule on a paper and carry it around with you.
But I won't know where to go.
We'll walk around campus with you and show you where all the buildings are. Plus, your roommates and friends can help you too.
What if I don't have any friends?
Everyone goes to college by themselves so everyone wants to make new friends.
So . . . . how will I have enough money to eat? I don't have very much money.
Don't worry. Mom and dad will help you out.
Mom, what about paying for my apartment? And my food and stuff. I'll have to pay every week and I don't have money.
Again, don't worry about it dear. We'll take care of you.
What do I do for lunch?
You can pack a lunch and bring it to school with you, or eat in one of the cafeterias.
Okay, I'm definitely going to pack my lunch. How do I get my food?
You'll go to the grocery store.
But I don't know how to shop at the grocery store. How will I get there? I need a car.
We'll figure that out when we get closer. But your first year you'll probably live in the dorms and eat in the cafeteria.
So if I have a car I'll just drive to college and go to my classes.
Actually, most kids don't drive to school. They just walk to their classes.
But I will get lost! How will I know which way to go?
You'll walk with your roommates and friends and you'll find the way together.
But what if I'm alone? I just know I'll get lost.
You won't get lost.
When I go to college I need a phone, because if I get lost I need to call you so you can come find me.
When I get my phone and get the cover on it, are you going to teach me how to use the phone?
And you need to tell me what your phone number is because I pretty much don't know it.
Mom, will you pick me up after dinner when class is done, because it's going to be pitch black outside?
Are you going to buy a phone for me, because I don't have enough money and that's going to be a problem because just in case I get lost.
Yesterday I was sitting at the computer prepping this post, when I asked Anna to come in and remind me of some of the college questions she had asked so I could write them down to remember them. Instead I opened photobooth on the computer, started the conversation, and discretely hit video record.
Shortly after our conversation she came back to my room to say,
"Mom, now that you've told me what college is, I'm starting to think it's actually fun."