As parents we’re supposed to be superhuman – always have the right answers. Never let them see you squirm. Never let them see you fight. Never let them see you cry. Never let them see you’re scared.
Are you able to do that? I’m not.
I’m constantly telling my kids, “I’m not sure.” On more than one occasion I’ve let them hear me yell at their dad. I’ve been known to shed a tear or two out of complete frustration because they just. won’t. listen. And I can say without a doubt that they know what my biggest fear is.
Ahem, here it goes:
Yes, I do think God was playing a joke on my when he gave me three boys. One of my first thoughts in the ultrasound with my first son was, “Please, God, don’t make him like reptiles.”
I’m terrified of them. This time of year is the worst because I know they are everywhere. I go to Nature Museum only because I have to as a mother – I usually just sit in the water room while the older kids roam around. Oh, and the butterfly room. That’s a safe zone. Discovery Place is also a nerve rattler (no pun intended) – the entire time I’m there I’m convinced they’re going to bring out that big snake they brought out on my 4th grade field trip – although surely he’s in snake heaven now.
I don’t camp. I don’t go on the Greenway at dusk. I intentionally bought a house with no creek in sight. I’m not a lake person. I’m never moving anywhere near the Everglades or Cajun country.
[Side note: can we all just agree as Facebook users to STOP posting pictures of the snakes you’re finding in your yard? What IS that??! Not even Facebook is safe!]
My kids know all of this. And you know what? I don’t care.
A long time ago I saw an episode of “The Jeffersons” where George sought out therapy for his snake phobia. You know what they made him do? Sit in a room with a huge snake and overcome it. Um, no thanks. I’ll just live in fear.
Maybe I’m supposed to be strong for them. Maybe I’m supposed to show that all of the earth’s creatures are good for something. But I just can’t. They’re going to have to learn this one for themselves. If they want to love snakes, fine. But I better not see any toy snakes, snake books, or heaven forbid snake pets come through these doors.
They’ve seen the fear in full force – we recently saw a snake at the beach, and I almost crashed my bike and the bike trailer because of it. I made up for that very uncool moment by taking surf lessons with them – talk about overcoming a fear! (By the way, surfing is much harder than it looks. How DO those Athleta catalog girls do it, perfectly ab-a-licious with full make up? I’ll never know and will forever bow down to them…). One of their favorite stories is about the time we were walking through the woods and came across a huge black snack – I left the kids for dead and ran for my life. Not a proud moment.
I’m sure other moms have fears, right? Do you? Do you let your kids in on them or do you put on your brave face and take one for the team?