The weather is mild and my forsythia is blooming, along with the daffodils and primroses. We’re having a drought, and the farmers are looking at the sky and clucking worriedly.

My daughter and her friend went outside to walk the dogs, and her friend fell and sprained her ankle. It’s always worse when it’s someone else’s child. Mine don’t seem to get into scrapes, but I’ve had to drive several of their pals to the emergency room for stitches or plasters. One girl fell and snapped half her front tooth off, which was probably the worst thing that happened. Another time we took the kids and their friends to a miniature golf course – and of course it’s the friend who gets whacked on the head with a golf club (not by anyone we knew – the kid went to another hole to see what was going on.) And each time I was frantic with worry and wishing it had been my kid instead! If it was my kid, I wouldn’t feel so awful or like I was supposed to watch them every second, because my kids know that I’m a very ‘hands off’ mom, who always lets them go on hikes, ride bikes, climb trees – alone. I usually wave as they set off, (with the dogs in tow) and wait for them to come home. So I tend to do the same for their friends. “Sure, go out and walk the dogs – see you in a while.” And then here they come five minutes later, the friend with scraped hands and a swollen ankle. (Off to check – I made her sit and put ice on it – yes, still swollen but not turning blue or anything.)

I’m such a bad mother that I forget to have my son’s stitches out. He asked me when he should have them out and I’d Completely Forgotten he’d had 3 stitches! (he had a mole removed) No big deal – so I forgot. If there’s no huge cast, you can be sure I’ll forget. So I took him to see my friend Catherine (a nurse) and she snipped them out and laughed at me for worrying. But I can’t help it – as a bad mother I must always worry that my neglect is going to make my kids
A) Hate me
B)Become Independent.

In the best of worlds it would be B, but I’m always worried about A.
I’m a bad mother because I am sitting here blogging instead of hovering over the poor girl’s ankle, but as she’s laughing with my daughter, I can be forgiven for thinking she’s all right. She keeps breaking off to cry out dramatically “Ow, My Ankle!” but I think that is just theatrics, and since she’s been enrolled for three years in a row in drama class, I tend not to take her very seriously. (Just an aside here – why do most people take actors so seriously? They are Actors! They dramatize, they excel in theatrics, they are HAMS.) I don’t take my children very seriously when they scream “Mom, he killed me!”

My daughter has another friend coming over to stay for a couple days, and I’ve decided to be more careful. We’re going to the public pool tomorrow morning, and there are five life guards on duty there during vacation, so I should be all right.

PS we just got back from the pool and all the kids are accounted for and fine.