Sunday, August 4, 2013


I envy my kids. I envy their inner ears that allow them to spin. I envy their bodies that bend and bounce without injury or ache. Most of all, I envy their fearlessness.

girl on ropes course

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.

boy on ropes course

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.

boy jumping from platform onto air bag

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.

girl on ropes course

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.

boy climbing behind a waterfall

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!"

little girl high in the trees on a ropes course

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.

boy resting on a rock in the middle of a rocky river

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I have linked this post at Just Write.


  1. Kids are fearless and I wish that I had less fears myself. It looks like your kids had an amazing time. The tree climbing looks like so much fun too. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I would have been on the ground with you. It's fun to be a kid.

  3. It's fun to be a kid. I would have been on the ground with you. Looks like a great trip!

  4. It amazes me what my kids do, it's like I am courageous through them. Truly outside my body!


  5. I hide my fears behind the lens sometimes, too.

  6. Dear Cynthia
    I told my oldest son a year or so ago that if something happens to him with his fearless endeavors like doing handstands on cliffs, and he dies, I am going to tell Jesus one day when I go Home to just wait for I want to wack the rascals behind for causing me so much heartache with his stupidity! He is now 23 years old and he just gets worse. At the moment he is doing his master's degree in Architecture with a BROKEN right hand.
    Hugs XX

  7. Man, I can echo these sentiments for sure. I am soso glad for their fearlessness, though and I kind of see myself as a gatekeeper for them-- keep them as safe as I can, so they can remain oblivious to the dangers that they approach to unawares.

    Not all children are so blissfully unafraid... :(

  8. Beautiful words and photos! I'm the same--I used to be so fearless and now I'm the Nervous Nellie too. I suppose it amplifies with motherhood, but I do wish I could let go more.