Monday, September 29, 2008

There Is Nothing To Fear but Fear Itself

Ole FDR had it right, but try explaining that to a screaming 5 year old in the middle of the night...yeah not so easy. She didn't enjoy my philosophy lesson either, the passage that says “Nothing is terrible in things; except fear itself”. I was pretty proud of myself that I remembered that one from my wonderful Philosophy 110 teacher, and I thought I had her there for a moment she stopped crying looked at me and started screaming again. Alright so maybe reason doesn't always work. She doesn't give a shit that her dreams are just pretend, just figments of our subconscious. She wants someone to hug her, kiss her and tell her that it will be alright. That I am there and that she knows she is safe. Because to her that dream was as good as real in her little five years of life world. Damn, I wish ,even though I think I have someone that would say those things to me if I suddenly started having bad dreams, that I could believe that again. Soph settled down, I rubbed her back and all was forgotten.

I grew up on Barker 1711 to be exact, on the Peoria side not the West Peoria side, I loved that house everything about it. Which when my mom went to sell the house back 10 years ago didn't even get the "for sale" sign in the yard before the house was sold to some scum lord who crams about 8 Bradley kids in there for $400 a month. When he bought the house for next to nothing...but that's a different soap box to stand on. : )

The things I loved the most were the things that scared me the most of all. We had this big built in china cabinet, that a babysitter told me once that if I stuck my hand in there far enough I could touch dead people. Or in my bedroom I was on the top bunk looking directly at the watermark on the ceiling that looked like a wolf's head...or the beautiful walk-in closets that I was petrified to hang my clothes in the way back for fear of zombies, or boogy men, or some equally scary thing. My fears didn't end at my home, at the swimming pool I thought the light covers in the pool were really covers to shark cages, that my parents, when I would hear them fighting I was terrified that if they got divorced how would I decide on where to take my kids to Christmas. lol Yeah I was a little OCD even back in the day.

I remember thinking that once I got older that my fears would go away. That adults had all the answers and once I got to be "old" like you know 20, I wouldn't be scared of the closets or not having the hall light on at night. I would be an adult and brave and strong. You think you are immortal then so I think some of my fear got replaced by stupidity and that nothing can happen to you cause your young and on your own and invincible. Then when I had babies I think that is when I saw things differently as an adult and a whole new batch of fears cropped up. Will I be a good mom, will I have money for their college, will Target have the brand of formula I need at 10 o'clock at night.

I like to lovingly refer to my children as little ticking time bombs that remind us as parents how old we are getting (uplifting I know) so as my kids got older my fears about what would happen if something happened to me intensified. I needed someone to reassure me, constantly that I was alright. The feeling of not being able to control getting older, and possibly, someday, if they don't invent a magic stay young forever pill, that I am going to get old and one day *gulp* die, was awful. I hated it. Someone who had lists upon lists, whose week was planned out down to the minute at times in those early years of marriage and pregnancies and babies. It was overwhelming when those thoughts got out of control and I felt like Sophie last night screaming in the night for someone to come and hug me and tell me I was safe. As an adult I got to learn from that scary experience, I got the tools to identify my fears and how to nip it in the proverbial bud before they got out of control. Now granted I couldn't always use those tools on my kids and their bad dreams but I became a better parent. And I know and have accepted fear as a good thing in my life to remind me that no one has total control and to learn how to let go and live.