It’s true. I have officially become blind to the line that delineates which children are mine. In fact, the people in question don’t even have to be children. I’ll still take them under my wing and fuss over them as if they were. It’s really kind of sad, and, if I’m being honest, it’s creeping me out just a little bit.
My best friend can attest to the fact that I feed people. All the time. If you are coming to my house, 9.8 times out of 10 I will have food prepared for you to eat. The other times we’re living it up large and ordering out. Why? I don’t know. If I had to guess, it makes me feel better to know that no one leaves my house hungry. Our local writer’s group came over as they often do on Tuesday evenings and someone commented that they never eat dinner before coming over because they know I’ll have food. I was glad to hear it. Then one of the other members said, “It’s because she’s a mom. She feeds everyone.”
It was that moment that I realized something may be amiss.
My problem became clear to me when I was complaining long distance to my friend Sarah (a firecracker of a woman and super writer. Go to her blog NOW). Someone was getting on my nerves and I was irritated and asking for advice because I don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings. Sarah straight up told me the truth: “You don’t have to be everyone’s mother. It’s time to cut the shit and tell it like it is.”
Holy crap! I think I’m everyone’s mom!!!!!!!
I worry over problems that aren’t mine. Seriously. If there were such a thing as a professional worrier, I’d be one. And a damn good one, too, because I can worry like a BOSS. I worry about one of Jimmy’s friends who just lost his mom on Christmas Day. His friend is 15 years old. It reminds me of a friend of mine who lost his dad at that tender age and how, at 40ish years old, it still defines him. I worry about a writer friend who lost her dad and mom two months apart last summer. I worry about another writer friend whose husband shot himself while she looked on. I worry about a friend I have who is so desperate for attention and love that she’s looking in all the worst places to find it, and smothering the friends she has. All this worrying on top of my normal, everyday neurotic worrying that I do for myself.
Tony had a friend spend the night not too long ago and I sent the kid home with underwear and food because I thought he needed some. I often send people home with goody bags for their kids, or just dump excess candy we have from holidays into Ziploc bags and give them to friends when they leave. I pick up my niece from school and ask her about her lunch and if she wore a hat at recess, reminding her to keep her coat zipped. I asked a grown woman where her gloves were the other day. A grown woman!
Criminy! No wonder I’m so tired. What have I got, like 50 “kids” I’m caring for? I think it’s a sickness. The only cure I can think of is Xanax and Dis Arrono. So pass the Dr. Pepper and the anxiety meds. This Mama needs a break.