So, I have a parenting dilemma…
I’m afraid…of a lot of sh*t. I’m afraid of heights, confined spaces, big dogs, creepy crawlies, free-falling roller coasters and unicorns, just to name a few. I’ve learned how to live with these fears, but I really don’t want my children to learn these fears from me. So, herein lies my dilemma…how do I keep from passing on my many fears to my daughters if I’m too afraid to teach them how to not be afraid? But to that point, I wonder, is fearfulness a trait that is learned or rather is it inherent in a personality from birth?
Ever since Lily was born she has been afraid of things, even before I had a chance to teach her one way or another, so I do think some of it is genetic. Things like loud noises and hmmm…dogs scare the crap out of her, and they have since Day 1.
It’s an interesting predicament I find myself in, when the things that scare her, also scare me. I want to be the strong, invincible mommy, but sometimes I am having a freak-out of my own.
Case in point #1 – The other day, while at my brother-in-law Greg’s house, their GIGANTIC German Shepherd was let into the house while Lily and I were alone in the livingroom. He ran ran through the room and the poor girl was terrified. And I must admit, I don’t blame her. I am scared sh*tless of this dog.
So, although I tried to calm her by saying, “Don’t worry Lily, he won’t hurt you,” I was actually freaking the f out too.
I know I inherited some of my fear of dogs from my mom who won’t come within 10 feet of a dog. And I am also fearful because one of my younger nieces was bit twice by a dog on her lip and is scarred for life. Nevertheless, I really shouldn’t be so petrified of my own family’s trained, lovable dog.
“I don’t like gogs, Mommy,” she said, the next day over her mac n’cheese and tomato lunch. Inner Monologue “I don’t blame you, honey.” Whatever I did end up saying, probably didn’t comfort her much because I have a feeling she can see right through my facade.
Case in point #2 – Last week at PlayWerx, an indoor jungle gym activity center for kids,
Lily went into the climbing apparatus and somehow made it all the way to the top. When she screamed “MOMMY!’ from the tippy top I knew I would have to go in after her. I left Lexi on the ground playing with another mommy/baby team and headed into the miniature, seemingly harmless labyrinth. As soon as I hit the first tunnel, in which I had to crawl on my hands and knees up to the next level, I felt a rush of claustrophobia sweep over me. My vision blurred and my breathing became shallow and fast. Inner Monolgue – “Are you kidding me that I have to crawl through this thing right now? Breath Mary, breath.” Once I reached the top I was fine and my anxiety attack passed. But I thought to myself…no wonder Lily is afraid. She’s got a chicken sh*t for a mother!
So, all you parentals out there who are kind enough to read my blog, any advice for this cowardly lioness? I really don’t want my girls to be afraid of the simple things in life, like: thier friend’s pets, swinging upside down on the monkey bars, walking the balance beam, the hair in their 8th grade science teacher’s ears (like our beloved Mr. Boiko – RIP), science fair projects, or speaking in front of the class (yes, even though I love the stage I am terrified to speak in public). I guess I need to tackle some of my fears first before I can be a decent role-model. Or maybe I just send Daddy to the jungle gym next time…
Filed under: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Park, parenthood, The Godwin Girls | Tagged: Big Dog Phobia, Fears, life, parenting | 3 Comments »