My wife and I watched Parenthood on NBC last year, sharing those moments married couples experience where they recognize bits from their own lives. The first episode from the second season offered a scene that explains how my imagination works, however, and I feel it’s worth sharing, if only because it illustrates something of my process.
One of the characters, Kristina, was giving her daughter, Haddie, driving lessons, and had difficulty with the experience. When they resolved the issue by the hour’s end (as most television shows do), Kristina explained she kept picturing the worst things possible that could happen, calling it catastrophization.
Every parent probably does this at some point in time, but you’ve got to grow up along with your children. My method for handling these dire visions of the future is to channel them into my writing.