I meet with Arcata High’s nurse this morning to talk about Nick’s diabetes and drop off extra supplies. The pump has made him so much more self-sufficient; I confess, I do not think of his carb-to-insulin or correction ratios nearly as much as I did when I was responsible for them. His blood sugar level remains a constant concern, but the rest, I leave up to Nick and the pump now. This works out especially well as he’s become a teenager, giving me other aspects of his life to worry about.

Things that are not helpful to say to the parent of a teenager:

“We did it, and we turned out fine!”

“All kids go through it.”

“You just have to trust the universe.”

Yes, certainly I was involved in much worse, with much less support, than my own teenagers are. Yes, most kids go through a phase of rejecting their parents as a way of sorting out their own identities. Yes, at some point, I must cede control of my children to a force greater than my own (theirs, for example). But none of that helps when I’m trying to figure out what to worry about and what to try to not worry about and how much to worry and in which ways I can ease my worrying and how much of that is something I can do versus getting them to do and I think back to all the car accidents that claimed the lives of people I went to school with and how often I myself risked my life for stupid, stupid reasons and how can I tell if one of them is lying and how serious or normal is it if they do or am I just being way too paranoid with my own historical baggage weighing in far too heavily? (Have I checked that luggage or is it actually a carry-on?)

At this moment in time, K drying her hair, Nick still asleep upstairs, Chelsea ensconced in her own adult life, perhaps everything is truly fine. Zucchini bread has been made, plans for the afternoon are clear. Deep breath, and onward.