Ever since I became a mom, I have been in total mom-mode—with everyone, not just JD. It got me wondering if other moms feel this natural instinct to protect others, too. I don’t mean to come off as a person who didn’t care about others prior to giving birth, I can assure you I did, but being a mom sort of amplified it.
For example, my younger brother, Brian, isn’t that much younger. He’s 28 and I’m 30. He also resembles a linebacker, but I still feel the need to advise, protect and worry about him. Two years ago when Rattled! came out he accompanied JD and me to California for my West Coast reading. I have wild and crazy friends in LA, so one evening Brian went out with my college girlfriend, Jaz. They said they were going for drinks and would be back to the hotel within a couple of hours, but they never returned and I panicked! Did Jaz take Brian to Mexico? I wouldn’t put it past her. I started calling his phone obsessively. He didn’t answer. Turns out they were “just chilling” at Hollywood hotspots, but still… (Yes, he's carrying my diaper bag in this pic. He's a bodyguard/MANNY. He's the BEST!)
More recently, Brian went to Virginia Beach to visit his friends. Brian has really, really bad asthma (when he was little I sat and colored with him while he did Nebulizer treatments). He’s also the guy who loses things, forgets things and locks keys in the car. He once came to Philly to visit me in college and lost his car (like, he couldn’t remember where he parked it, lost it.) I asked him 100 times if he remembered his inhalers and medication before he left for Virginia Beach and texted him the morning of: Pack your meds. And I told him if he had a bad attack to just go to the hospital. His friends also have a cat. Brian is highly allergic to cats and coupled with asthma, this is just bad. His friends cleaned their apartment and locked the cat in their bedroom (don’t worry animal lovers—it’s big and there’s windows) for Brian’s visit, but still, I reminded him to pack Benadryl, pack Benadryl, pack Benadryl.
Something I’ve left out is that Brian is extremely smart. He works for the largest computer company in the world and is a walking encyclopedia. He’s just a little disorganized and carefree which worries me. Like, I once asked him to watch JD at a family party and I came back and my son was chowing down on shrimp cocktail. He was eating shell fish for the first time ever and he wasn’t even 3! I spent the rest of the party waiting for JD to have an allergic reaction. He didn’t.
But, I’m not just this way with Brian. I’m like this with friends too. My fashionable, single girlfriend, Nic, (who bought me a Gucci diaper bag when I announced I was pregnant, obvi) recently went to Africa to build a kitchen in an orphanage. This was wonderful and I was so proud of her, but I was also worried, because I recently saw a 20/20 episode (I’m a mom and rarely go out on Friday nights) where an American girl got murdered on a similar charitable trip. I realize I am being dramatic. So, same with Brian, I asked Nic if she was getting shots—you need shots! (she knew this and got shots). I made her pack Benadryl—and told her not to drink the water (duh). She came home safe and sound—and had the experience of a lifetime.
But I’m not just like this with friends. I’m like this with strangers too. Yesterday on the way to JD’s Spring Showcase we were at a stoplight and a teenager in a BRAND NEW BMW SUV next to us was texting. The light turned green and he didn’t move—la-la-la just texting away. I rolled down the window: “Hi. Stop texting. You’re going to crash. Kill yourself and kill other people.” I drove off. (I realize this was a tad over the top -- or was it? I mean, I am known to yell at teenagers).
I’m wondering if motherhood made you more caring and eager to advise…maybe it’s just me. Please tell me it’s not. Please.