Blennophobia, the fear of slime–no Goosebumps’ episodes for these individuals.
Personally, I think I have zoophobia, the fear of animals. They are fine from a distance but I get tense even having a small kitten too close. My poor kids who will forever be begging for a pet to no avail.
Not a phobia, just a childhood hesitation, Boston has been terrified of the slide all season. We go to the park almost daily and she has a great time swinging, climbing, running, yet never sliding. I tried encouraging her until blue in the face and finally just gave up, deciding there was always next year.
Yesterday, as I was following my fearless son around, I noticed her sitting at the top of a very big slide. I didn’t say anything but watched the muscles moving in her face, noticing the way she was trying to muster up the courage to go. I didn’t think she would, but finally, and very slowly, she went down the slide, griping the sides, for the first time.
Immediately she turned to me with the proudest face I have yet seen and shouted with everything in her, “Mom, I did it! I am so brave! I am so brave! I am so brave!”
It was just a slide, she is only two, and yet, my heart exploded with pride in my little conqueror. There were parents around and so I refrained from doing the happy dance and instead shouted my praise (explaining to the other parents afterwords it was her first time doing such).
We spent another hour at the park doing just one thing: sliding. By the time we left there was not even a hint of fear as she allowed herself to fly to the bottom.
Fear, we all have some form of it. Some are big, some are small, some are just plain unusual (like my fear of animals).
Boston would have missed out on a lot this summer had she not conquered that which gripped her. All the parks we will visit, all the new slides we will explore, the childhood excitement meant for her to experience, would have been traded in for a a boring walk down the steps again and again.
Watching my daughter has put a new resolve in me to not live my life in fear and miss out on all life has to offer.
Life is short–way too short to be spent any way other than all in.
Easier said than done, I am the first to know. It will most likely need to be conquered slowly at first, like my daughter gripping the sides all the way down. I do not care. I will not let it control me, no matter how long it takes.
From now on, this is the look I will give to my fears:
Here’s to you: what fear is holding you back?