Monday, December 29, 2008

Anticipatory Grief

I've struggled with anxiety and depression off and on for years. I remember when a counselor once told me I suffer from "anticipatory grief," that is, I get irrationally upset about things that haven't even happened yet. In high school, it was anxiety over handling my finances as an adult and other random adult things that I didn't yet know how to do and was afraid I'd never learn.

I don't think I've succumbed to such irrational fears lately, but last night I had a little episode that I'll have to blame on pregnancy hormones. We were watching The Sound of Music on TV, and I kept noticing how Gretl looks a lot like my friend's little sister did back when I first met her. The little sister was in first grade when I met her, but now is a sophomore in college. As I lamented to Matt how I couldn't believe time had passed so quickly and how old we'd all grown, he commented, "yep, before you know it, Kate will be a sophomore in college too."

At that, I looked down at my pregnant belly... and actually started to cry. "She's going to leave us!" I wailed. She's not even born yet! I'm still sitting on the egg and crying about my empty nest! Matt consoled me and we both laughed (me through the tears) at my silliness, as I vowed to enjoy every minute of this child's life.

The years will go by all too quickly, I know.


Matt Kelley said...

Something tells me that during a 3am feeding you'll look forward to her being in college. I, on the other hand, will realize that this will be the only time I can keep her away from boys.

Shastopher said...

I too have nightmares of my daughter coming home with a boy who was much like I was in High school. I don't think you'll ever feel like you want her gone. Even at 4 am when she won't sleep, I revel in knowing that she wants me to comfort her.


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