On vacation last week, they spent each day doing things that would make me sick, sore, or scared. They swam in icy mountain river cascades, rode rides that made me dizzy for hours, jumped off five-story platforms, and tackled obstacle courses in the trees.
I spent most of the week hiding my anxiety behind my camera. I documented their marvels, but I also found a coping mechanism. The camera got me through, but at the end of each day, I was more fatigued from worrying than they were from adventuring.
Kids--at least my kids--are fearless, not brave. They didn't conquer any fears last week. They have no fears because they have no real sense of consequences. Their minds don't see the fall, the impact, or the injury, while that's all I can see on their behalf. They see only a new challenge.
I envy their lack of understanding. I wasn't always a Nervous Nellie. I used to do things cavalierly that made my parents worry. As the young do, I scoffed at them. Now I get it. I see the consequences. Sometimes, that's all I see.
I stand on the ground looking up at my children and try to remember to breathe. Up in the trees, my six-year-old merely chuckles and says, "This is really nervewracking!"
They have no idea, and I doubt they will understand my fears until they become parents. Until then, I hope they keep trying new things. I just hope that I don't always have to watch.
I have linked this post at Just Write.