Wondering or Worrying?

“One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.”
~ Margaret Mead,

No, I don’t quite sit up like that and wait for my son and daughter in love to return from late night outings. I however toss and turn and sleep intermittently till they return. When I hear the front door open and shut, I fall into deep sleep.

I rarely go out in the evenings or for late night parties as just about all my friends know that I do not consume alcoholic beverages or eat dinner and so will be a bore! But, occasionally I have to attend some function or the other and on those occasions, my children tell me that they worry too.

I think that Margaret Mead got it wrong. It might have been quite right to wonder about one’s whereabouts in her time, but today, with gory stories about late night mishaps every morning in the newspapers, it is more worry than wonder.

17 thoughts on “Wondering or Worrying?”

  1. Perhaps you misunderstand what MM meant. She is not talking about the one left behind wondering/worrying (obviously we all do that from time to time) but the one OUT – “safe” in the knowledge that there is someone back at the homefires wondering/worrying when staying out longer than maybe expected. Do you see the subtle difference?

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  2. Yes YES. I used to worry about my boys kayaking in rugged white- water when they told me that they were told to look for a body or body parts. YUCKS! When they found the life jacket that’d come off, they understood why.

  3. As far as your comment goes where your friends think you are a bore, I totally disagree. I do not drink alcohol, either, and I don’t like loud and/or late parties, but I don’t think this makes us boring. Perhaps to some, but then again, perhaps they are not the ones we should be spending time with. I appreciate this post, there is much food for though. I would like to thank you so much for your visits and kind comments on my blog posts, it is greatly appreciated. 🙂

    1. I don’t consider myself as a bore. Anything but and there are enough others who would vouch for it. AND it is entirely my pleasure reading your blog posts and when possible, leaving comments. I may not do that on every post but I read every one of them.

  4. I mostly don’t worry about Andy, who could easily get into trouble up in the mountains, but I’m grateful that we have internet up there so he can send me messages when he’s going to be late. (I can text him, but he can’t always text me. So we need internet as well as a cell phone.) I also have some people to phone if he’s very late and I don’t hear from him.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Offline

  5. Of course, she is right. Many times it is the wonderer or worrier who raises the alarm when things go awry and I think we all find comfort in knowing that someone is looking out for us.

    I rarely lie awake waiting for children to come home but I can get very agitated if they don’t arrive home from routine activities at the usual time.

  6. Despite the media images, Belfast is actually a very safe city, and Jenny and I seldom worry about whether the other is safe or not. We’ve lived here for 16 years and we’ve never run into any trouble. Jenny only worries about me when I’m walking in the Mourne Mountains and she’s nervous I might fall and break something. So far, I never have.

  7. Interesting that I was of the generation of parenting that when my children were young and living at home, I waited up for them. My daughter has said that it kept them honest knowing that I would be sitting in the chair reading. They could see me in the window as they approached and always, by habit, stopped to talk a bit and get a hug and a kiss on their way to bed.

    Nowadays I can rarely stay awake if my husband happens (rarely) to be out in the evening without me. I am always asleep before him and so it isn’t a great change.

    Worry? Wonder? Probably the most I would worry is when someone is traveling and they don’t announce their arrival at their destination by text. It is a family custom that keeps us all informed.
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