A couple of months ago I was chit-chatting my daughter. We were discussing our upcoming trip and whether I was going to sign us up to go zip-lining. Abruptly she says to me ”Mom, you just need to be fearless like me.”
I think she was a little taken aback by my reaction – laughter – and asked me what was so funny. Any moms out there know the answer? Care to guess why I am not fearless like my daughter? Because I’m a MOTHER! We aren’t suppose to be fearless. We are suppose to be worried about everything, that’s what mothers do!!
Do you remember being fifteen and fearless? I do. I remember it like yesterday. I remember being upset with my mother over the things she wouldn’t let me do and all the worries she had about my safety. What could possibly happen? Why couldn’t she be fearless like me? Oh boy – when did I turn into my mother? Sorry mom
I actually remember the first time I was really, truly fearful. Not the “I’m going to close my eyes on this roller coaster because I’m scared” but the honest to goodness, down to the very core of your being fear. It was the moment I found out I was pregnant. Not knowing I was pregnant, I had x-rays and medication as a result of a car accident. Realizing that I subjected my unborn baby to all that “stuff” scared me to death. Even though the doctor assured me everything would be OK, I spent the entire pregnancy trying to shove down the fear that I had done something terrible to my baby. Fortunately our son was born healthy, but that moment was the end of my fearlessness.
Over the years I’ve tried hard not to let my fear prevent my kids from having fun. I sent my son off to Germany for a month to live with a family I had never met. My daughter experienced the Superman roller coaster from the front car (yeah – the one where you are suspended in mid-air). Both kids have swam in the ocean, seen a volcano up close, spent their summers away at camp and zip-lined over a rain forest. All in spite of my fear for their safety.
As I looked at my daughter while she was earnestly asking me what was so funny I had visions back to her delivery. When the cord was wrapped around her neck, being squeezed during contractions and cutting off her oxygen. When the nurse told me she was in distress and we only had a couple of minutes to get her out because they were calling the anesthesiologist up to do a cesarean section. A few minutes later they laid her on my stomach and she wouldn’t take her first breath. I thought back to that moment when I was gripped with fear that she wouldn’t ever take that breath and I told her I couldn’t wait for her to have kids. Only then could she truly understand why I was laughing.
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