Our world operates on fear. Fear sells and fear is what drives news ratings. Your don’t see the anchors reporting on all the good things happening in Spokane, why? The government wants to scare people into getting flu vaccines, wear sunscreen, have antibacterial in every room so we don’t get disease; fear fear fear. It creeps in without us even noticing it, until it starts to consume us.
After I dropped my very rambunctious 6-year-old and 4-year-old off at soccer camp. I just had our 6 month old at home with me, it should have been a wonderful time of quiet and productivity. But it was far from that. Instead, I was gripped with fear. What if Graham wonders off (he is my wanderer)? What if no one sees him or someone kidnaps him? Oh my word, how would I handle that? God please protect them, oh God but you allow bad things to happen to kids, how can I trust you? You allowed awful things to happen to Scotty. Can I really trust you? How can I not fear? It ruined my quiet day and I must admit that I returned early to pick the boys up just for peace of mind. I’m not even a helicopter parent and consider myself pretty easy going, but when I reached this moment of being completely out of control of my children, I could not handle it. Fear ruined my alone time.
Graham had just turned 4 and Grady was 6. We decided it was time for our 6 year old to learn how to ride a bike. It did not occur to me that my 4 year old would want his training wheels off, but they’re boys, of course the competitive side would come out. So I thought, we’ll take them off, he’ll crash a few times and he’ll beg for us to put them back on.
So Scotty took them off, Graham got on that bike and he was gone, we were in shock. So my 6-year-old and my 4-year-old learned to ride bikes without training wheels the same day. Whenever they ride, I would go out and make sure cars were not coming. One day Scotty was out with them and they were riding their bikes around the neighborhood, and even though we live in a small neighborhood with very little traffic, I about had a panic attack. All I could picture was them coming around a corner and colliding with a truck, it overwhelmed me, I snapped at Scotty and then said a little prayer, “God please protect them!” Immediately the thought crept in that God won’t protect them, he did not protect Scotty. Fear, fear from the past and fear for the future was driving me. It was ruining my relationships and fear was trying to get me to crush a little boy’s dream of riding their bike.
It really didn’t hit me how much fear was taking over my life until one hot summer day when the boys had been begging me to take them to a park, I finally gave in. They were pumped, they got their swim shorts on in a second, we grabbed towels and we were out the door (everything seems to happen really fast around our house). We got to the park and there were several mom groups there with boys, but there was something different. I could see how much fear was in the eyes of the other moms and realized that it was at the heart of almost every decision I was making.
Fear. I began to realize how we are all being controlled and manipulated by fear and then began to ponder what would happen if I didn’t let fear control me? How much could I accomplish? How much more open and honest could I be with other people? How much better of an example could I be to my boys?