Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Fearful Land

We are working through some fears around here. As in, specifically, a fear of trucks. And sometimes rocks.

Let's face it, we all have some fears. For years I was terrified of being at home alone. For some women it's childbirth. And for children, there's just so much to be afraid of-- they're little, the world is big, and at times, scary. You all remember when Zosia was sacred of water because she thought she might pee in it. Well, thank goodness, that phase of childhood has come and gone. Baths are now a much beloved activity.

Well, this current bout of fear all started when Zosia, on a playdate at a playground, witnessed a big old truck dumping some rocks. Yes, there are children who would think this was the coolest thing in the world. But my little sweetpea was shocked, scared, and left wondering, "What happened?" Which she continued asking for several days after the incident. And now anything that resembles a truck has become very scary. And rocks too.

My own experience with fear has taught me that something beautiful, amazing, freeing happens when we let go of our fears. Our lives are transformed, our spirits lifted, our reality re-imagined. It's as if our mind is given permission to stop carrying the burden of worrying and is allowed to be more present in the moment. I think few words are more powerful than the simple three, "Be not afraid."

So how do I teach my little shadow to feel safe? How do I protect her while giving her independence? How do I do it with love and compassion and grace?

Whew, today's one of those days that I'm thumbing through the parenting books. Thank you, Penelope Leach. Any suggestions, stories, anecdotes?

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