When you are parent you have to face a lot of fears. I have an active imagination to say the least. That coupled with my love of horror films and I have a tiny little issue with dark spaces. You know…closets, under beds, basements (forget it), under a car a night…you get the picture.
How to tell your child that there is nothing to fear from the dark if you haven’t already conquered that fear yourself? So I had to face it. I had to be and adult and realize that there isn’t now nor has there ever been anything scary in my closet…except my lack of fashion and my embarrassingly huge amount of black clothing. I had to be able to walk through a dark room, so that I could feed my baby, comfort my toddler, and check in on my kid. Doesn’t mean I like it, but I no longer fear it. I will no longer wait till morning to go to the bathroom. And damn it if I need a glass of water in the night, I can get it myself! Like an adult!
Spiders – oh my gosh. Or you know, anything that has more than four legs. Nope. I see some of the bugs that they get down south or in Australia…nope times 1,000.
But if there is a spider in my kids room…I save it. Not only do I save the little devil….I pretend that it is cute. I pretend that I think he is adorable. I put it outside, silently freaking out. I do this at work too. Partly, yes to face my fear but also because all life has value…even that…spider.
I could go on with all the fears I have or have had in my life, I won’t bore you. I got thinking the other day though, how those fears I once had before having a kid seem small now compared to the soul crushing fears I have developed as a mother. Crowds for example.
I used to love crowds – I could go to concerts, protests, bars, you name it all with out a care in the world. Now I get antsy. Now I get worried about riots, or what if a natural disaster strikes when we are in the middle and everyone panics?! What if some nabs my son? To be fair this fear has calmed down slightly since he got bigger, but now I fear him running off and losing him in the crowd.
Driving – used to LOVE driving. Would drive for hours, would do the most crazy things. Barely enough space for my Ford Escort – no problem, high speeds, sharp corners. I was like that guy who drove the cars in those movies. Now – I am constantly looking in all directions. What if that guy is trying to catch a poky thingy? What if that chick is texting? What if that guys car stalls? There are accidents daily on the roads I use. Daily. I don’t want Cody to be waiting for me to pick him up because I am smeared on the pavement.
The fears as a mother are so much worse then the petty fears I had about the boogie man grabbing my leg from under the bed. I no longer fear ghosts but now have a very real fear of escaped psychos. And maybe the world is no scarier now than it was 20 or 30 years ago, but because of the media we are more exposed to it. There are real threats. And while I don’t spend a whole lot of time worried about them they do cross my mind. If even only briefly.
As parents we are seen as these fearless people. Ready to tackle anything from a lost teddy bear under the bed, to a creepy crawly on the ceiling. But it wasn’t until I became a parent, looked at my perfect little mini me before I knew what real fear was. Now the trick is facing those fears and showing my son that even if your afraid, you must continue to live.