Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"I Forgot to Freak Out!"

Today's title, or some variation of it, was what my son James told every person he talked to after he climbed to Exclamation Point at Chimney Rock Park. (And if you've had the pleasure of meeting James, you know that boy can talk!)

But really, I'm totally good with that. While an elevation of 2480 feet isn't that massive compared to what some have no doubt done, when you're a kid that breaks into a cold sweat climbing a flight of glass steps in a museum, that's a huge accomplishment. When we were heading to the park, Jason and I reminded him that this was going to be high, but it would also be beautiful and that he didn't need to freak out because he was surrounded by people who loved him and who would do anything to keep him safe. But ultimately, the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other over and over again was enough for him to make it to the top. The sheer exhaustion that he felt from working hard enough to reach the summit was enough for him to forget that he was afraid of heights.

Honestly, the trip was a time for lots of overcoming fears with the kids. James made huge steps (ha!) toward conquering his fear of heights. Deborah got over being afraid of jumping/diving into the pool. Christopher stopped being scared of floating on his back in the pool and started really swimming. Even Faith got into a 30 minute discussion with a woman on the lazy river, and she tends to be the most shy of the kids. Lots of fears, big and small, were faced in those couple of days. (The only fear I faced during the trip was that all of my brother-in-law's amazing guacamole would be eaten before I got to try it, and that didn't happen.)

As I continue my own goals to expel some fears in my life, it was good to see my kids addressing things now. I am hopeful that as they learn to face their fears as children, they will have better tools for facing them as adults. I think part of having faith like a child is to have courage like a child. To become so immersed in what I'm doing that I forget to freak out.
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
 
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