How this family of worrywarts copes in an age of anxiety

MY YOUNGEST SON, WHO IS 10, HAS LONG HAD AN OBSESSION that crops up whenever we get in the car. As he climbs into the back seat he will peer over my shoulder at the dashboard and, depending on his mood, may ask the question we both know he is thinking: “Are we going to run out of gas?”

My youngest sister—his aunt—is a therapist and the wise woman who taught me the possible-probable trick. And so I say to my son:

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