Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Facing Fears (and other things to cry about)

Doss LOVES fire engines. Plays with them all the time and talks about them as we pass them on the road. But somewhere along the way, he became bit afraid of the sirens and quite concerned (from afar) about anyone who might have an emergency and need a fireman's help. This didn't change his love for them in books or toys but the fear is there.

Over the weekend, our family (specifically a very well connected aunt and uncle), arranged for Doss and his cousins to visit the new fire station in Ben's hometown.  The boys were so excited and talked about it the night before and all morning before the visit.  But once we arrived, my little one lost it.  Big tears, crying, "I want to go back out to the car!" "Let's go outside!" (away from the fire engines, and firemen).  What in the world to do as a parent?  I hate to see anyone feel uneasy, much less my child who is clearly anxious and feeling some level of fear.  But I also know that everything is ok, there is no danger, and that in the end he is going to want something to hold onto from the visit.  So we stayed through the tears for a little while (see picture above) and then took a little step back from the group and just watched for a moment. . . then all on his own, he decided to go back inside and wear a fire hat, and talk with the firemen.  And guess what?  A very happy boy talked all the way home about the fire station, fire engines and nice firemen.

The moment has really stuck with me.  It's that interesting moment that parents have when you must nudge a child in a certain direction, or help them face a fear even with tears and trembles.  It's important.  Fear facing may forever induce tears (I can relate), but getting to the other side with memories (either way you go) well, that's all we have. Doing something you love even if you are scared to death.  Stepping out of your comfort zone even if only to go right back to home.  Facing our fears and moving forward even if we cry.  It's an important moment . . . for us all.  xx - m.m.

Other reasons to cry (besides facing fear):
  • falling down and bonking your head.
  • breaking your favorite fire engine toy.
  • forgetting your to-go coffee on the kitchen counter (oops, that one is for me).
  • realizing it's the last book before "lights out"

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