Why do you suppose it is that most young children are thrill seekers? Or rather, why is it that so many adults go from being thrill seekers in their youth to being too nervous or scared about getting hurt? Much like Enzo and Phoebe, I know I liked climbing up on things, jumping off of things, and gave very little thought to whether or not I’d get hurt. But now? Not so much. Even looking at Josh tossing the kids up in the air makes my heart slightly stop, but also just makes me slightly nauseous.
I don’t have that many fears, but the ones I do have are fairly irrational. I have a fear of being up on ladders… and get nervous standing on kitchen chairs. Yes, even being a couple feet off the ground makes me incredibly nervous. I’ll still do it because there are times when one has no choice, but I get shaky and can’t think too much about what I’m doing. I haven’t the slightest idea when or why this fear began either. I’ve never fallen from an extreme height or broken anything, so you’d think there would be nothing to fear.
In the beginning neither kiddo enjoyed being tossed up into the air, but at some point for both it became fun. Phoebe is the same way with the swing set. Enzo hates swinging, but after a couple of times, Phoebe started to enjoy it and thought it was fun. Enzo is, however, getting better about bugs… as long as they don’t fly. I can’t argue with him when it comes to wasps or hornets – they are just nasty and I won’t pretend they aren’t. The kids and I stood in the rain looking at worms the other day, which Enzo was fascinated by. Phoebe was more concerned as to why water was falling from the sky, so she didn’t care about how “squishy” or “neat” the worms were. He’s also fascinated by ants, especially after I showed him one carrying something.
Now the next big fear to overcome is swimming. I’m really hoping we can get the kids into the water this summer and show them it’s not scary… just a little colder and bigger than the bathtub. Baby steps. It’s not like I’m a very good swimmer, so I suppose it’s good that they’re cautious. Hopefully they’ll always be mostly fearless and not develop silly little phobias that hold them back.