I don’t want my kids to be afraid. I don’t really know how to elaborate on that idea- I just know I don’t want them to have this burdening trait that afflicts me everyday. There are so many things in this life that I am afraid of. I’m scared of sickness- more appropriately, I’m afraid of a deadly airborne sickness taking over the world causing a zombie apocalypse of sorts. That would be a serious bummer trying to outrun that shit with two small children in tow.
If you are a regular reader of my work you will also be aware that I am terrified of our flying feathered friend- the bird. It’s jerking movements and erratic flight schedule is enough to make me cower in the fetal position for hours until the risk of being pecked to death has unquestionably passed.
Getting the hem of my pants stuck in an escalator track, dance circles at weddings and people with abnormally large nostrils are a few more things that frighten the heebie-jeebies out of me.
So when people ask me if I am frightened the answer, no matter what the situation, is undeniably yes. I’m scared of so many things I have lost track and am only reminded in the spur of the moment when the terror of the situation sneaks up on me. And once again I will realize the horror of my petrified ways.
This is where my dread that my children will carry on these fearful traits has originated from. I want my two darlings to be able to endure a cold without worrying that they may have just collected the newest version of the bubonic plague. And further more I want them to be able to get a flu shot without the creeping demonic whispers in the back of their head telling them the government has just shot them up with a population control virus. “SO LONG SUCKERS!” Every year they would have to deal with the insane paranoia when getting their flu shot that in the next 24 hours they could be kaput! Believe me when I say it is not a pleasant thing to go through.
Then they will have this ridiculous battle of inner turmoil involving self-preservation against the responsibility of herd immunity.
It will be a difficult time for my babes to say the least. That is if they take after me and have these insanely irrational fears.
I want them to feel the thrill of an escalator without the constant anxious concern of being sucked under it. To know the fun of a wedding dance circle without the anxiety of knowing they may be next. And to be able to carry on a conversation with a large nostril fella without the knowing fraught that at any moment a wet slimy booger could come shooting out of that well rounded tube- easily infecting them with the newest and most terrifying sickness the world has to currently offer.
So how do I assure that my babes will live a fruitful life without these fears?
I don’t- just another fear to add to this heinously growing list.
What I do know is that I must show them how I can face my own fears- so in turn they will face theirs. I want them to understand that it is normal to be frightened sometimes. But standing up against the fear is the real challenge.
Each time we face a fear we advance further on it. I don’t want to teach Lars and Sophie that it is silly to be afraid. I want to teach them it is silly to cower. I want to teach them that existence will be so much more difficult if they let trepidation rule their lives.
I will teach them that life is an adventure and no adventure would be complete without a little fear to keep the story exciting. And that a real hero always faces his fears head on.
So with that said I think I will go hit up some dance circles, find a few large nostril friends and even pet a few birds while I’m at it (I’m not going to lie that last one is pretty unlikely).
Needless to say, what doesn’t kill you- makes you stronger. Or braver at least.