Originally uploaded by madabandon.
When I was growing up my father had a way of dismissing any concerns with the general platitude that everything was "fine." Thus, if I had a searingly painful ear infection, I did not complain; I would be told that I was "fine" and to stop complaining. Thus I did; one day, with a scarily high fever and an abcessed ear that was about to burst, I heard the doctor admonish my mother. He wondered why my ear had gotten so bad. But it was MY fault, because I did not complain.
To compensate, I tend to jump to the worst conclusions with little provocation. This manifests itself mostly when I discover some malady with one of my little brood. Patsy had some skin irritations which I immediately assumed were mast cell tumors thanks to my cursory and bad education (via internet) on feline skin disorders. And Mabel's itching ear must clearly signal an ear infection. So one at a time--Patsy first, Mabel next--I marched them off to the vets' this morning. All is well. I feel a bit silly having panicked so last night. And I wonder: if I had a child, would I be able to keep my panic invisible in the face of some illness? I would like to think that I would. I would like to think that I would be the best of both worlds: worry enough to never neglect things, but not panic enough to scare my kid.