I worried. I fretted. In junior high school I spent so much time worrying about the most minute details of events at school and recorded those worries in my diary. That wasn't unusual--not many people dodge the tragedy of junior high school scotch-free. What was unusual was the gift my mother gave me. She presented me with a small yellow box that held six worry dolls. She told me it was Native American magic.
The six worry dolls were tiny, about the size of wooden matches, dressed in brightly colored clothes that were actually colored string wrapped around to resemble clothes. Native Americans whispered their troubles to those worry dolls. Those worry dolls did the worrying, allowing the worrier to sleep with ease.
I put my diary under my mattress and told those worry dolls my woes, feeling a bit silly at the same time. The dolls went under my pillow with hope, like a fallen tooth for the tooth fairy. I imagined them lying inside their yellow box, soaking up my sour thoughts. I survived junior high school.
Last night Douglas and I sat in the living room where we unwind night after night. I blurted out my worries about making the right choices for our son. Are we making the right choice not getting cochlear implants for Levi? What if, as an adult, he told us he wished we did? As we talked about Levi and our decision to let him be the way he was brought into this world, I felt lighter. Our conversation shifted from worrying words to loving words. Last night I had a 6 foot 2 worry doll. Worked like magic.