For the most part, being a grandmother is a heck of a lot easier than being a mother.
I don't have the minute-by-minute, day-by-day responsibilities that my daughter, Kacee, has with my granddaughters, Tilleigh, 5 and Evie, 2.
But what hasn't gotten easier for me is worrying. It's an issue.
Kacee is an incredible mom. She is taking excellent care of her daughters, and she's doing it as a single parent. For the most part, the longest breaks she has from the girls are when my 83-year-old mother or I have them. Typically, they spend one night a week with my mom and one night a week with me. We usually keep them on a night when my daughter swims with a local open-water swim team or she's going to get up early the next morning to participate in a run.
My daughter is totally levelheaded when it comes to her children. I can't say that about myself.
Case in point: When my second-born child, Karah, had to get stitches when she was 3, I fainted. Several years later, when my youngest, Kit, had to get stitches, I fainted. Just seeing them in pain caused me to worry, and the way I handled it was to pass out. (Yes, it's embarrassing.)
Because Karah fell while standing on a rocking chair, I don't like my grandchildren to have rocking chairs. Because Kit fell while turning in circles and getting dizzy, I don't like to see my granddaughters turning in circles and getting dizzy. I worry that, like their aunt and uncle, they will fall and have to get stitches.
I worry about the girls when they're in cars.
I worry that they'll step on a snake, especially since we're having such a hot and dry summer and we live next to woods.
I worry that someone will be mean to them.
I worry when they're sick.
I don't worry all the time, mind you. My happy moments far outweigh my worrying ones. But it does raise its ugly head on a fairly regular basis.
Maybe it's normal to worry. Maybe it's not. I worry about it.
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...