Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fears that we carry with us

Everyone has at least one childhood accident story.

I never broke a bone or had a major illness, but when I was 9 I had a horrible bicycle accident at Girl Scout camp. I remember the start of my flip over the handlebars, darkness and waking up to my counselors speaking in calm voices. I watched a fuzzy caterpillar crawl over my hand while my wounds were cleaned with alcohol and we waited for the ambulance to arrive.

One of my counselors went to the hospital with me and created a communication problem for me. All our counselors went by nicknames and at the end of camp the kids had to try and guess their real names. I knew her only as "Wilbur" but she obviously gave the hospital her real name (Michelle). The nurses thought I had hit my head too hard.

Since then, I haven't been a bicycle enthusiast. I did get a new bike and went for rides again, but never with the same gusto and always with an undercurrent of fear. I gave up riding.

But now my son is old enough to ride, and my husband wants us to ride as a family. So we all have bikes and helmets (where were those when we were little?). And now I ride. Keeping up with a toddler isn't difficult, but I practice when my husband and son aren't around so that I will be ready. Ready to take the hills that he will want to take, to go the speeds he'll want to experience and keep the fear of falling at bay.

Because the fear is still there. It is there when I go too fast or wobble over a rocky patch of the street. I am not sure it will ever completely go away, but I never want my son to pick up on it.

And that makes me wonder what fears my parents ignored so I wouldn't pick up on them. Heights? Clutter? Snakes? And if I asked them, would they tell me? 

No comments:

Post a Comment