I am not scared of too many things. There are things I avoid because they make me uncomfortable, such as speaking in front of large groups of adults or going to Wal-Mart on a Saturday, but I can do those things without too much anxiety. 🙂
There is something I am really scared of, though, something that makes my heart beat faster and my thoughts spin out of control: murky water. When we go over a bridge, especially the long, tall bridges like we went over last week when we went to the Outer Banks, I have to focus on the road in front of me. If I let myself, I will go through in my mind the entire scenario of what would happen if we somehow plunged over the edge of the bridge. I imagine myself busting out the window of the car, telling Jason to grab Charlie while I get Maddie, then swimming to the surface only to be tragically eaten by an alligator just feet from shore. Those bridges are all beautiful, but they make me very anxious and I am always relieved to reach the other side.
I avoid any water that isn’t clear enough that I can see my feet. I love sitting on the beach and walking on the beach and building sandcastles on the beach, but the kids have to really beg me before I will join them in the ocean. I feel the same way about lakes, rivers, etc. Nope, nope, nope.
Every once in a while I am forced to face this fear, and last week on vacation was one of those times. Jason mentioned several days ago that there are lots of kayak tours on the OBX, and he wanted to go on one. Without really thinking it through, I agreed. Suddenly, I found myself here:
Yep, those are my feet. My feet on a kayak tour through a maritime forest complete with snakes, fish, turtles, 2 feet of mud which a woman would immediately sink into up to her knees if she accidentally fell out of her kayak, and alligators (Our tour guide, Justin, denied this, but I later learned that an alligator had, in fact, been caught in this exact area only weeks earlier. Not only did they catch the alligator here, but they tagged and then released it in the SAME SPOT.).
Why do I let myself get into these situations that scare me so much? Well, I don’t want to miss out on anything. I want to experience every single thing I can in this life, and I want my kids to experience every single thing they can. While Maddie didn’t care for kayaking, Charlie discovered a new passion. The problem is, now I am going to have to take him kayaking all the time. This is him at the lake a few days ago:
I took this picture from shore. 🙂
I want them to be brave and courageous and feel free to try new things, even if they are scared. And I want them to look back on these experiences and say, “Wow, I did that!” So I have to do that, too.
Over and over again, apparently.