My son was born and someone bought us a photograph of the sunrise on the ocean on the morning of his birth. They asked what I’d like written on the border and I requested:
Matthew 6:34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
I strove to live that way; and I wanted my son to live that way, too. Where we landed was a whole ‘nother story.
My son had profound developmental problems as an infant. Therapies and interventions changed his life, but by the time he was in preschool he was too well for serious special education but not quite able to be mainstreamed. He was in this very strange middle ground that nobody was quite sure how to deal with. He was too well for the mixed special needs preschool he was in, so we moved him to a private school that prided themselves on individual attention (possible with their low student-teacher ratio) and eclectic learning environment. My son was asked to leave mid-year when I found out that he was being mishandled and I was being told “he had a bad day”. When my jaw hit the floor hearing about this at the meeting that would nullify our contract with the school, his arrogant teacher said to me “Well, what did you THINK that meant?!?”. And I told her. She was surprised, and the school realized there was a huge disconnect. We put him in a Montessori after that and at the end of the year, they suggested that they may not be the best place for him. In the park, he’d had more than one incident of being bullied or taken advantage of–once by a child younger than him.
And suddenly… I began “borrowing trouble”. In my mind, I was trying to prevent my son from being in a bad situation. I was trying to be sure that I knew of any issues before they became big. It was a lot of asking teachers if he was alright in class, if they had seen any of this issue or that. Sometimes it was giving them a “head’s up” if he was dealing with a specific issue recently. All of this was in the interest of making sure my son wasn’t misunderstood and therefore mistreated.
It didn’t really HELP… and in fact, sometimes–it hurt him. Too often, teachers were LOOKING for problems with him as a result.
We relocated and I was just completely on edge about the whole thing. He was now 6 and I was having a hard time managing with him. His behavior was really difficult and I was worried that it would start us off on a bad foot in our new home. As a result, I was constantly on edge… and putting a lot of pressure on him to behave “just so”.
And I was creating more problems than there really were.
The reality is: if my son has a problem, I’m going to find out. If a teacher or coach has a problem, they’re going to tell me. And now I know to dig about whatever it is they say. But I don’t plant the seed that there might BE a problem.
I also no longer get on my son to behave well. I think I was sending him multiple messages that he wasn’t acceptable. Think about the repercussions there. Yeah… that.
My long-winded point is this: Don’t worry about something until it exists. To do so isn’t being “preventative” or “prepared” or even “proactive”. It’s “borrowing trouble”. Generally speaking, if something is worth worrying about–it will make sure to make itself big enough in your life to grab your full attention. ;)