Friday, September 3, 2010

The 4 Letter F Word

Fear.  We've all got fears.  Some are rational; some are irrational.  Like any mother, I've got a million, but I try to keep them to myself.   Who needs a 3 year old afraid she's going to sleep walk again and hurt herself?  Or, who needs a 1 1/2 year old who fears she's going to come in contact with amoxicillin and have another allergic reaction?  Or... the list could go on and on.

No, we try to shelter our children from things that cause us fear, and teach them to be confident and brave.  But, sometimes the worry gene is just too strong.  Emma Kate is a ... well, a scaredy cat.  There, I said it.  Emma Kate is afraid of so many things that I have lost count.

Some of her fears I get - thunder, the dark, loud noises, motorcycles, big trucks, big animals.  And even lawn mowers, yard blowers, the sound the washing machine makes when it gets off track, dogs, bears, horses, frogs, worms, bugs, the sound of a flushing public potty, strangers, and scary masks I can see.  But, that's where the rationality stops. Some of her fears are just down right funny, like Justin's golf bag, hats, vacuum cleaners, fans, and kittens.  It didn't help that when she finally mustered enough courage to touch the golf bag, she knocked it over causing a monstrous crashing noise on our hard wood floors and golf paraphernalia to be scattered everywhere.

We soothe, and reassure her that no, it won't hurt her, and tell her all is well constantly, and the worry lines melt away, and her body relaxes.  Most of the time, snuggles do the trick.  These are easy things to soothe.  These childhood fears, I can deal with.  I can tell her for the millionth time that the vacuum cleaner won't hurt her.  I can reassure her that I'm an arm's length away during the dark night.  I can tell her how proud I am of her when she gets brave and touches Papa's 4-wheeler.  And, I don't mind scooping her up when she comes flying toward me at the sight of a bug or the sound of a truck coming down the road.  Yes, these are easy.  It's the fears and doubts and heart ache that I know will inevitably come later that will be much harder to soothe.  When she's afraid of the school bully, or her confidence falters after failing a test, or her boyfriend breaks her heart, those will be the times I wish we could return to these days of bugs and loud noises.  Those will be the times my heart will literally be walking around outside my body.

And even then, I will continue to reassure her, and tell her how proud I am of her, and let her know that Mama is here.  That fact will always remain.

No comments:

Post a Comment