The Chaos

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I’m still in the midst of playing catch-up after my New Orleans trip and getting a handle on my freelance work. The above page of doodles is something I dug out of a drawer. It’s from 2002 or thereabouts, and it represents, well, chaos. There’s also a rare hand in the middle there.

In the midst of my busy schedule and tapped mental state, I haven’t wanted to post just for the sake of posting. But every day that goes by without an update on this blog makes me antsy.

Today I had my son with me at the office for a spell, and then all three kids for a particularly busy stretch after a co-worker’s program crashed and took a chunk of work with it. It was a marathon day, a nonstop day. And now I have my work at home. Still, I wanted to post tonight.

Journalist Josh Levs is writing a book, titled Stretch Out, about “American fatherhood” and ways life can improve for families. I talked to him at length while in New Orleans, and he’s looking for more dads and moms to contribute to his research. You can find a list of questions here.

I was happy to be able to give him some potentially usable material, and I can’t wait to read his book. I’ll have to wait until 2015, but I have enough to keep me busy until then, I’m sure.

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Late Week: Worry Wednesday

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My goal to post each day—except maybe Sundays—on this blog was tested when I realized that starting a post at 11:47 p.m. is a bit late, even for a week themed on being less than punctual.

Fortunately, I have no shortage of stuff to worry about, so it’s easy for me to pull something off the top of my head. Let’s see … hmmm … yep: meningitis.

Several college students at a college in a nearby county came down with meningitis a few weeks back, and a college student in my town developed a case of it even more recently. I can’t remember which is worse, and which is communicable despite the vaccine—bacterial or viral—but none of that matters to a worrying mind such as mine. I’ve already established that I can quickly go to some dark and medically impossible scenarios with very little provocation, such as my kid sipping a soda she found.

I was recently struck by the realization that this health-based worrying came to me late in life. Late in my life, I mean. I’m 34, but the germaphobia started a little more than six years ago, which—coincidentally?—is when I was just getting to know our newborn daughter.

The world wasn’t so scary to me when I was a kid, a college student, a young working professional, even a newlywed.

Having kids, though, changed me into something new—something paranoid and freaked out by even trivial stuff. So when one of my kids gets a runny nose and a slight cough, forget that the others have been sick, too, for days, and are getting better. It must be meningitis.

Of course, somewhere deep inside, I know I’m overreacting. I wouldn’t be able to survive otherwise.

But the girls do have strep throat right now. So there’s that.