My Fearful Daughter
(Cleveland, Ohio, USA)
7 Year old Ashley
When I was a little girl I was fearless. I got into fights with older kids on the bus, I beat my older brother at chin-up contests, and I rode my bike all over town in search of Hubba Bubba and a slushie.
One of my favorite photos from around the age of five shows me riding behind my brother's ATV, standing on a water sled being pulled across the snow. As a mom, I often wonder how I survived my crazy childhood of firecrackers and four-wheelers, but as a child, I loved my wild side.
So why do I have a fearful child?
My daughter was born two months early so it was no surprise when she didn't crawl until nearly eleven months or walk consistently until close to a year and a half. I anticipated that for awhile she might have balance issues and feel insecure on the playground, and we certainly did experience those issues.
What I did not expect, however, was that as she grew up and mastered the same physical skills as the other kids, there would still be roadblocks holding her back.
When it comes to the things that scare many children such as the dark, roller-coasters, and new vegetables (yuck!), my daughter is incredibly brave. She began riding roller-coasters at the age of four and recently joined me on a huge wooden one that had teenagers screaming for their mothers.
But there are still so many things that drive her to tears that I cannot understand, including riding her bike. Here is this item from my own childhood that to me stood for freedom and adventure, and to my child it is a danger on wheels.
Last fall we moved to a home that backs up to a bike path, and I expected to spend our summer days exploring the woods on our bikes. Instead, even suggesting a bike ride can lead to tears.
I know that our children are not the same as we are, and I think that most moms would agree that is a good thing. But there are days that I look at those pictures from my childhood and wish my daughter could enjoy her own adventures without fear.