Hearing my younger son’s voice from halfway around the world was welcome.
It was a special relief since he was flying into a typhoon in a country that has recently been rattled by earthquakes, washed by a tsunami and paralyzed by nuclear power plant disasters.
With three children living far from home, and out of any safety net I might otherwise be able to provide, I’ve learned not to worry too much about them on a daily basis. That changes if I learn there is something to worry about.
A tickle of worry arrives if they are traveling. For some odd reason that’s especially the case if they are traveling to or from home.
That tendency to worry carries over to car travel when they are spending time here. If they don’t get home when I expect them, concern creeps into my chest.
I know it’s not logical to worry more about my kids when they are here or en route, but long ago I learned logic and emotion often bear little relation.
With Casey, I wasn’t surprised to learn his plane across the Pacific had trouble landing because of the typhoon in Japan. I wasn’t surprised he got soaked and buffeted by wind while trying to locate his new apartment.
Thankfully, I didn’t know to worry when another earthquake hit Japan shortly after he arrived.
I didn’t know to worry about him a couple of nights later when he didn’t navigate a Tokyo rail route correctly and almost missed the last train home in a world where he hasn’t yet learned to speak the language.
Previously, I didn’t know to worry about him when was getting robbed at gunpoint in Costa Rica.
I didn’t know to worry about him when waves were washing over the gunnels of a small boat as he traveled to Honduras.
If ignorance is not bliss, at least it is lack of worry.
As far as I know my daughter, Sarah, is safe in Chicago. Still I’ll admit to a tad of concern when she made a recent flight to Europe even though I know the relative safety of airline flights.
Right now, I anxiously await a phone call as my older son’s wife prepares to give birth to my second granddaughter at any hour in southern Florida.
Facebook, which I finally gave in and joined, has provided me with more updates than I can rightfully expect to receive personally from my son, Dobin, who has things of his own to worry about as the birth nears.
Maybe my parents were lucky not to have Facebook, Twitter or even cellphones when I was growing up and doing silly things like hitchhiking to Thibodaux or to Mexico.
Not knowing to worry about your children can be a blessing when you can’t do anything about a situation anyway.