It took everything in me to drive away after dropping my son off at school today. When I left he was happily working along side a classmate making up his own version of tick tack toe. He gave me a big hug and said, "I love you too Mommy!" As I walked toward the door a that sinking feeling hit me. Everything around me began to trigger my anxious heart.
A man stood across the way from his school with a piece of paper in his hand. Another man was walking to a nearby building. He glanced my way and the catastrophizing began. I began to create this story in my head that there was some sort of conspiracy to kidnap my son. I recalled a conversation from the day before where a mom was trying to set up a play date with our kids because they had played so well together. I am sure was an innocent conversation, but this morning I began to think there were too many questions. "Why did she ask where he goes to school, and what time he is done with school, and what part of town we lived in???" I gave such generic answers, I am not sure this play date will ever happen
This is where the internal battle begins. I tell myself "That man is probably just waiting for some one, and the man just happened to make eye contact.," and "That mom was just asking those questions to figure out a place and time our kids could play together again." But my anxiety just keeps digging, and I think of how terrible I will feel if it turned out that my worries were valid.
I wanted to run back inside and warn the teacher about these "suspicious" people, but I am proud to say I didn't go running back inside. I took some breaths and started the car. I didn't let these thoughts take over, and I drove home and started this blog.