Our Story Begins:
Worry, Worry, Worry


There have been at least a couple of insane things happen in and around my household in the last few weeks. Neither of those were things I had even a smidgen of control over but they happened, nonetheless.

It started with throwing my back out, something that is far more common an occurrence than in years past. A career carrying lots of weight around some years ago and then doing some stupid activities in my youth created a situation that increased pressure on my lower spine. If I’m not careful and rigorous about keeping in decent shape my body goes into spasms that have me rivaling Quasimodo in my position and movement.


As my back began to heal most of Northern California, it seems, was on fire. This created a cloud of smoke and smog and ash that covered everything from our home down into much of the surrounding territories.

All of that freaked out my kids.

Not the fires. They knew the fires were burning a long way away from us. It was their Dad that they were worried about.

Since I was a little boy I’d had, officially, extrinsic asthma. Basically it means outside factors – mine being allergy or irritant induced – cause breathing to feel like an elephant is standing on your chest. Gasp as you might, breath doesn’t come. Add in the fact that you look like a paperclip that was unbent and then bent back into shape from a spinal injury and suddenly you are a worrisome adult, not a strong supportive one.

Related: Our Story Begins: Including Your Kids

“Do you have an inhaler with you,” my daughter was constantly asking?

“No,” was always my response. Only in very dangerous circumstances, and those are very rare, have I needed one.

“You should have it with you,” my daughter said as we sat outside waiting for her brother to finish guitar lessons.

I had to explain, confidently, that you get a feeling for your own body and lungs and breathing when you have this condition. Had I thought there was a danger, I would have had it with me. In my job, though, I’ve covered wildfires and had no adverse reactions. It’s cleaning a moldy shower that does me in.

Yet the bigger thing is to show them that I’m not playing fast and loose with my health and my life, much like I did in years past. I have medication within reach when I need it and in places I can get to quickly should I need it. I know how to heal up after straining my back and the exercises I need to do to reduce the pressure and swelling.

Yet the worry is there. I’m their only parent, all they have left. That being the case they all told me the same thing: “we need you around, Dad.”

As much as you worry about your kids . . . sometimes it’s good to be reminded that they worry about you, too.

What about you? Do your kids ever worry about you or do you hear them when they are scared about something you do?