Fear is really at the core of parenting, don’t you think? We parents are huddled in our own brains peering out at the world, scared of everything. Everyday. The possibility of sudden illness, haphazard injury or worse seems on our minds, just under the surface, hidden behind our relaxed laughter and comments like “kids will be kids” when they pile drive each other on the couch. My post about soccer moms being natural history’s worst enemy certainly lines up with this theory. And can you blame us? Snakes are really out there! (Even if it was a harmless Rat Snake.)
So I have a fear issue today. I am debating whether I should go up to the community pool with my boys. Seems awfully silly, doesn’t it? And a total no-brainer. It’s a lovely pool and it’s going to be hot this afternoon. I am still stubbornly holding on to my practical New England ways and have yet to turn the A/C on. So the pool seems like an obvious choice during the worst part of the heat in the afternoon. But here’s the thing. Neither boy can swim, both are wildly insane and I would be the only adult in charge. YEEEEKS!!!! My hair stands on end at the mere thought! But how the hell is my (almost) 5 year old ever going to trust himself in the water if I don’t just suck it up and get in there? If I am to assume they will drown as soon as their toes touch that pool, how will they possibly want to get in there too, feel confident and actually someday swim? And that confidence is really at the core of swimming. And my own confidence is at the core of effective, relaxed parenting, right?
And let’s not forget the words of Yoda:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Ok, so that’s a little dramatic. But what I will take from my man, Yoda, is that don’t let fear get to you. Or else all kinds of over the top ridiculous will ensue. Get it together. I am their example. There is plenty to be scared of in this world but I need to keep my wits about me, be rational and just jump in head first. (WOW. This pool thing is becoming quite a “state the obvious” kind of metaphor, isn’t it?)
“Do or do not, there is not try.” Go Yoda.