21 Feb
2014
Posted in: parenting, travel
By    Comments Off on No Fear: Do Something I Wouldn’t Do

No Fear: Do Something I Wouldn’t Do

I stood in my kitchen and told my 11-year-old to do something I wouldn’t do.

He had just finished telling me about advice a friend’s mother had given, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” While I understand the thinking behind the statement, I’ve never said that to my children. I want them to do just the opposite. Do something I wouldn’t do.

Of course, I want them to think about the legality, ethics and safety of situations before deciding to do anything. There are literally hundreds of things I would never do that are perfectly ethical, reasonably safe and completely legal. If my kiddos go through life, not doing things because I wouldn’t do it, they risk the chance of missing out on amazing experiences.

I am cautious by nature, overly cautious. I hear skydiving and think death. White water rafting brings thoughts of drowning. Rock climbing = falling. Traveling abroad alone is a great way to be kidnapped. Moving somewhere you don’t know anyone is a good way to end up lonely and depressed. I have to fight through worst case scenarios on a daily basis. Heaven help my husband when he arrives later than expected. I’ve mentally put him in a car accident and in the ER. My relief at seeing him is clouded by my anger that he dared to worry me. There’s nothing wrong with my imagination. I read a lot. I have a mental Rolodex of worst-case scenarios.

I try my best to hide this side of my personality from my kids. I want them to be more brave than I am. Being afraid of new things is a heavy burden. It takes so much energy for me to make myself do things I don’t see as safe, whether emotionally or physically. I have a list of things I want to try, ballet and guitar lessons to name two, that I just haven’t because I’m too afraid to do something new. The idea of this blog festered for over a year. I would never have made the plunge into a public blog without my husband pushing me forward. I’m glad he sees through my myriad of excuses for what they are…fear.

Showing fear while hiking to Sipapu Bridge - Natural Bridges National Monument

We traveled to Utah in March 2013 for spring break. We were at Natural Bridges National Monument and decided to hike down a canyon to Sipapu Bridge. You had to climb down and then back up ladders bolted to the side of the canyon and handrails were installed in places for safety. I took one look over the edge and immediately sat back in the car. I used the excuse that the kids wouldn’t be safe. Mind you, they weren’t scared, and it was perfectly safe if you paid attention. Our kids have hiked some crazy trails. This was not quite us rappelling children off a mountain top. I was near tears with fear. My husband took the time to talk me off my own mental cliff and then the literal cliff we were about to go over. We hiked the trail. Guess what? It was amazing. I’m glad I overcame my fear to witness the majesty of the bridge up close.

Sipapu Bridge

Our children have never shrunk away from new experiences. They enjoy the adventure of something new to learn and try. Most days I wonder at how they’re even mine. I look forward to what they try that I never would, and maybe they’ll convince me to try something with them.

I’m linking this post to:

The Purposeful Mom

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments are closed.