But worrying is a reflex for mothers. I have committed many embarrassing acts in the name of worrying about my children - or as they would put it, disgracing them - and if I told these stories here, they’d never forgive me. Suffice it to say they included, in one instance, making a frantic 3 a.m. call to police when my son was late coming home, and a tearful late night call to campus security because my daughter didn’t answer her cellphone all day.
I’ll gladly share other people’s stories, though. A friend of mine once called her pediatrician’s emergency line thinking something was seriously wrong with her 6-week-old daughter. The baby’s chest was rising and falling in a way that didn’t look quite right to her, and she thought the baby was having a heart attack.
“What does her chest look like?,’’ asked the doctor who took the call.
“It’s going up and down,’’ my friend said.
“Your baby is breathing,’’ he said, sarcastically. “This is what breathing looks like.’’