I had a dream about Ralphie last night; it was the kind of dream that lets me know I need an email with a photograph reassuring me that my years of  anti-tattoo propaganda  is still intact somewhere in his brain (preferably not the frontal lobe). I have a friend (a very funny friend who is starting a new adventure at age 58 and a blog – I’ll keep you posted) who has given birth to a son very similar to Kip and Ralphie, she writes, “I like to Skype him so I can see if he has all of his body parts, he wouldn’t tell us until the stumps had healed.”

I keep telling myself not to worry, because I feel like with all this worrying I am gradually morphing into my grandmother; I’ve got the saddlebags, the high blood pressure, and I’m pretty sure I now know what those “nerve pills” she was always taking are . Several years after my father died, there was a plane crash somewhere in Asia or Europe. My grandmother called me, genuinely worried, “Julie, was your daddy on that plane?” “No Grandma.” It makes me sad to think about it. I wish I had had more patience with my grandmother’s incessant worry about my father. At the time, my own children were safe and sound (Ralphie content to sit in his playpen for hours at a time – little did I know how that was going to bite me) and under my watchful eye, so I didn’t understand. Now that I my children are roaming the planet, I have a much better sense of how she felt.

Weight loss and worry, life’s constants; it’s good to know one can count on some things to never change. Nonetheless, I am trying hard on both fronts. I keep hearing my father’s voice in the back of my mind (apparently he mastered his parenting propaganda technique). “Julie, enjoy your life; do not spend a single moment of it worrying, and lose weight; a functioning body is a horrible thing to waste.”