I'm talking the motherhood variety, not the screaming-child type. My mother told me there's no age limit for this disorder and it turns out she's right. No matter how old your kids get, you still wake up at night worrying about them.
I've worried about some stunningly silly things during my 3am-wake-up calls. Suppose Youngest's date doesn't show up at the appointed meeting place, and she finds herself all alone at the ball - can she be persuaded to take along a warm coat so she doesn't freeze to death while she waits for me to rescue her?
Suppose Eldest keeps on smoking forever. Will she end up with a haggard smoker's face?
After a decade of higher education, have Middle's student loans grown so big that paying them back will affect his ability to buy a new car when he finishes his Ph.D.?
Oh, all right. I've worried about the real stuff, too. I suspect the silliness is a defense mechanism, my mind's attempt to knock the real worry down to size so I can go back to sleep.
But the point is that as a parent you'll never stop worrying. It doesn't end when they get big enough to cross the street alone, or to drive themselves to work, or to enroll their own kids in elementary school. It's as permanent as the designation, parent. It sucks, but there it is.