It was a beautiful Saturday morning. The Boog and I had set off on another one of our adventures as a pair. We had to first stop to have him measured for a tux he will be wearing in an upcoming wedding, a breeze. Our second stop was lunch at IHop, delicious. Our third and final stop of the day was at a state park complete with endless opportunities for fun.
Large, pointy rocks to climb, hiking trails along the ginormous hillside with a breathtakingly-high view overlooking the city and a very tall observation tower overlooking the tree tops. The perfect place for a coordinated 3 year old to roam without the helicopter-like tendencies of a high-functioning anxiety-ridden mama.
Fearless as ever, my child wanted to run and climb. Apologies to the children trying to climb the large rocks whilst my rear end obstructed your view, as I chased Boog between the nooks and crannies, while all other trusting parents watched their children from a comfortable 10-foot radius. I simply couldn’t allow him the freedom he wished because I saw every scenario ending in a cracked skull. How did all of the other parents manage to remain so calm? I wish I knew.
The observation tower was the next thing his sight was set on. (By the way, trying to explain a deathly fear of heights to a 3 year old does not produce a desired outcome, you might as well save it.) He ran up each flight of stairs, more triumphantly than the last. I could hardly bear the disgusted looks he gave me as I yanked him backwards begging him to hold MY hand on our climb to the top. I related far more to the crying 2 year old who only made it half way up than any of the other “adults” and I’m certain that if it weren’t for my brave 3 year old telepathically telling me to “quit being a sissy” I would have been asking that kid’s mom to take me back down with them.
Despite the paralyzing buckle in my knees and the terrifying climb to the top, once we made it up and I took a few breaths, I was able to enjoy how beautiful it was way up there. It was in that moment that I realized just how much fear shapes our lives. He is only 3 and has yet to be conditioned to fear all of these things that life has to offer. He doesn’t associate being up high with falling. Those are things we are taught through experiences. We are taught to fear things that require us to take risks. Some of them are justifiable fears but some of them are good for nothing and are simply robbing us from living a life of pure adventure.
***Disclaimer: despite me being a big ‘ol ‘fraidy cat, we still had a TON of fun and he promised he forgave me for being a big fat chicken 😉