List Love Book Club: Scaredy Cats

Each Week ElleinadspirA Place to Share and I will be working our way through the Listography 2011 Book with a rotating Link Part-tay! To find the list of the years topics, check out the Listography Link above. Today’s Topic: List things that scared you as a kid

I had a lot of fears as a kid including a debilitating fear of the dark that stayed with me until college. That's right! I said college. Just one in a string of endlessly embarrassing facts I've shared online.

As my son is developing and overcoming toddler fears I've been thinking a lot about fears and what they mean. Most fears are transitory, they come and go. One day he's terrified of the blue plastic whale, the next day he loves it. Blue plastic whale forever. Huzzah! And yet, his fears bother me immensely. I feel extremely angry when he is afraid of something. It is irrational. Why should I care if he fears the blue plastic whale? I've wondered why for awhile and now I think I know: I don't want him to be like me.

Don't get me wrong. I want him to be smart, and fun and whip up delicious tacos, but I don't want him to battle the anxiety that is my constant frenemy. I don't want him to be a twenty year old talking himself down from a fear of the dark. I don't want him to be thirty-year old pep-talking himself about the safety of flying in planes or the fact that public pools are safe despite the fact that they are filled with nefarious drains. I don't want him to lie awake worrying that x will happen to this person or that he'll never be able to recover from y mistake. I don't want him to waste his time worrying like I do, so when he's a scaredy cat, I want to grab his shoulders and scream "It's no big deal. There is nothing to be scared of."

I don't want him to suffer.

Of course this is useless and not just cause it's totally dumb to scream the fear out of your child. In fact it's just one more way my neurotic anxieties create imaginary problems that don't exist. Adult-style bogeymen if you will.

Here's the real truth: I was afraid of the dark as a child, but I'm not anymore. It doesn't matter what you feared as a child, it matters what you do with fear when you grow up. Today I'm taking one more step towards banishing my fears: I'm going to stop projecting my anxieties onto my child and let him be afraid of silly things. We all know in another ten years or so I"ll have bigger concerns than whether he is afraid of the car-wash.

I've got the link. Blog about your thoughts on childhood fears and link to the post below or leave your thoughts in the comments. PS-I was a major fail on writing this post in list format. Perhaps it should become the List Love Blog Prompt Book Club?

Posted on October 4, 2011 and filed under List Love Book Club.