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What If...

By Michelle Gallerani

Publication: theday.com

Published March 13. 2012 8:25PM   Updated March 14. 2012 9:24AM

Everyone talks about how much your life changes when you have kids. How much your love grows. How your priorities shift. How your social life plummets. How busy you will be. How challenging it is with two. I read a lot of articles and I read a lot of blogs and I have read about countless things that change with kids. But I have not read about what I am going to talk to you about. And I am fairly certain I am not alone with this.

From the moment my son was born, the "what if?" switch was turned on in my brain. And the "what if's?" increased exponentially when Little Lady joined us. I am certainly not consumed by them, but not a day goes by that I don't consider "What if...?".

And the "what if..." is usually followed by something (small or large) that I can't control that would lead to some sort of injury to myself or my children. And then I force myself to think about how I would respond to my made up problem. Like "What if I fell down the stairs right now (by myself or with a kiddo)?" or "What if Little Man choked on that roll-up (actually happened)?" or "What if something was wrong with one of the kids health?" or "What if that car pulled out in front of me right now?"

I know all of this seems kind of strange. And I wasn't really intending on ever sharing the inner workings of my brain with you. Except that the recent passing of a Norwich fire fighter made all my "what if's?" seem so much more real.

That accident has been consuming my mind all week. My heart breaks for that family, for those children. And then I say to myself "What if that was me? What if that was my husband? What if those were my kids?" Because in senseless situations like those--there is no reason it couldn't be me. All it takes is to be in the horribly wrong place at the horribly wrong time.

Sometimes I wish I could turn off my "what if's?" I don't know why I force myself to think of what would happen if my kids didn't have me or I didn't have them. Except that having those thoughts every now and again reminds me how lucky I am. And that is all it comes down to sometimes, I think. Luck.

The "what if's?" keep me in check. The "what if's?" remind me that on even the bad days, my life is still amazing. The "what if's?" tell me to hug and kiss my kiddos as much as I possibly can. The "what if's?" make me truly value every day and every moment. And maybe that is why, in that wonderful moment when someone else's life became more important to me than my own, the "what if?" switch was turned on in the first place.

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