This isn’t entirely twin related. But it is some thing worth talking about. Whether or not we realize it, our kids are picking up every thing from us. Our good habits, our bad habits, and our fears. Watching my son copy my fear of bee’s was enough for me to see I needed a change. .. Plus, it’s really annoying hiking and having my kid spaz out and scream and run every time we see a bee. Not to mention dangerous.
So when I realized my son was afraid of bee’s I decided I needed to change my behavior. Now, let me paint you a picture of how absolutely F U C K I N G scared I am of bee’s. Or flying things in general. I was 9 at the time. I was home alone. In another state, another region. Staying with family for the summer. And I saw a mosquito. It was a pretty large one. But more importantly it didn’t look like any other I had ever seen, it had stripes. Between the color and the size I promptly lost my shit for the next hour. At first I tried to kill it. But of course, it moved. Did I chase it, or leave it alone like a normal little human? Oh no. I hid. Under a bed. From a mosquito. Until my grandma came home.
And then I grew up. And had to get over it. But the fear of bee’s and wasps stayed. A horrible horrible irrational fear of both, mostly bee’s though. At one point I was convinced I must be so afraid of them because I was actually allergic to them, and it was just an evolutionary life skill. Have I mentioned that I have never, ever, actually been stung?
So when I was hiking with my son, who was 4 at the time. And a bee flew by, and he started shrieking and running through cacti, I realized this was 1) annoying as hell, 2) dangerous, 3)my fault. The next bee I saw, was in a cactus flower. It was really pretty. And I swallowed my fear, and bent down and took a photo. My phone at the time was crap, so I had to get really really close. I could feel the wind coming off of his wings. It was horrible. But, I got an amazing photo. And I continued to do this and talk to my son about how the bee’s weren’t really scary and mommy was just being silly, until the fear went away. For both of us.
Let’s talk about another, very common fear. Thunderstorms/ Tornadoes. When I was a kid, I had an immense love for meteorology. I could tell you every cloud, what it did, how it got there, and what it will do next. I wanted to be a storm chaser, and I lived in tornado alley. Every thunderstorm we could, I would run outside with my best friend with a note book and we would “storm chase.” Now… the flip side to this, is that every time a thunder head got within 5 miles of my house, I would pack a NASA duffle bag with clothes, beanie babies, and books. Because obviously I was going to die if I wasn’t prepared for a tornado. I could not, in any way, ever, handle a storm in the dark. See, in the day light I could see what was happening. But take away the light, and I was simply petrified. My bed was next to my window, and I would sit up and watch all night long hoping that if there was a tornado, I would see it in the lightning.
I out grew this by my early teens. And many of my friends had horrible horrible fears of storms. I remember one time very well. The sirens were going off. I had watched the radar (which I am amazing at reading) and we were fine. My best friend called me in a blind panic. She was home alone. And she wanted me to come over. So I drove to her house. And the storm was hell. I talk her out of hiding in the basement. And then she remembers the neighbors have baby ducklings in their yard. And WE HAVE TO SAVE THEM. So we walk outside in the wind and hail and chase these ducklings around the yard. And stick them in her parents garage with their beautiful cars. Yes, I stole some ones baby ducks in a thunder storm. Rest assured, they were returned.
When my son was very little and started to gain a fear of the sound of thunder I found myself in a very scary predicament. I had bunny ears on my T.V., and they were not working. I had a radio, and it suddenly only picked up static. And my cell phone lost service. The storm that was over head, was massive. And while I was quietly freaking out because nothing in my house worked, the tornado sirens started blaring. But I could barely hear them because of where I was. So my son and I went outside. We sat outside so I could watch for funnel clouds. We fished in puddles. We played tag. All so that I could watch the sky. Because I had no other way of knowing what was going on. Luckily, there was no hail. It was that scary calm thing.
But after that experience he loved storms. He loved running outside to dance in the rain. And it could have been one of my worst memories with my son. But instead it is one of my favorite.
I was watching nature shows with my twins. And the snakes caught the lizard and were killing the lizard. In fact it was this scene from Planet Earth, this link is narrated by Snoop Dogg, but we were not watching the Snoop version. And I remembered that we as humans, are inherently afraid of snakes. Just like cats are afraid of cucumbers. And so I said to the girls, “Oh my goodness!! The snakes caught the lizard! AND THEY ARE HUGGING HIIIIIMMMMM!!!!!” and then the twins proceeded to try and hug me to death like the snakes did to the lizard. And it was honestly, one of my favorite memories with them.
I have often found this to be true; pretending to be the person I want my kids to see. The person I want my kids to be. Has made me grow into the person I want to be. And over coming my fears to help them, is just a mere shadow of all that this statement means.