27 Jan 2011

Fear Schmear

18 Comments Family

My son has taken away many of my fears. Fears that I thought were permanently imbedded in my being are all but gone, thanks to my three-year-old boy. This is a benefit of motherhood I was not expecting.

The first fear that I thought I would never lose was my deep, dark, eight-legged fear of spiders. Small, big, black, brown…. It didn’t matter. If it was a spider and I happened to see it, especially if it was crawling, I would break out into a heart-pounding, palm-sweating panic attack.  Seriously.

But something happened the first time Garrett and I saw a spider together. He said it was cute. So I couldn’t kill it. And I couldn’t have a panic attack because then he’d know that I thought spiders were something to fear, instead of something to look at and say, “That’s cute!” So I agreed with him about its utter adorableness and proceeded to save it. I got a plastic cup, a piece of paper, and all of my courage and I took the little bugger outside with a minimum amount of palm sweat.

Since then, I’ve saved at least ten spiders, and I’ve only had one small panic attack which occurred when I saw a HUGE spider, which looked poisonous, hanging out on the door jamb when I was about to walk into the garage. THAT mofo got it’s ass kicked.  Still…

Fear number one: Mostly gone.

My second fear was annoying and inconvenient. The fear of flying. It’s simple, really. Whenever I had to fly anywhere, for anything, I would have severe stomach issues and an inability to sleep. Flying for work? Oof. Stomach pains, gas, possible diarrhea, and nausea. I’d finally get to bed about three hours before I had to wake up, only to lay there staring at the ceiling. When my alarm went off, I’d rush to the bathroom for some more stomach fun and take one of those quick, sad showers where you’re never really standing up straight because you might puke, or faint.

Flying for fun? Only slightly better. All the same symptoms, just a tad less severe. I also have massive packing anxiety, which might be my next post. This anxiety only adds to the stomach problems and sleep issues.  It’s not pretty. And it takes away a lot of my enjoyment of traveling. As a matter of fact, it’s been a major reason for me not wanting to travel much over the years.

Cue the cute, blond boy. Last year, I was fortunate enough to get a lot of work out of town, and doubly fortunate enough to get to take my family along. I wanted it to be a great experience for all of us, and I wanted G’s idea of flying to be that it was fun, wonderful, and the best way to get to anywhere you want to go.

I have found that the best thing to do when I want to show my kid how great everything is, is to pretend everything is great. If it’s pouring outside, it’s THE BEST THING EVER because all of the plants and flowers are finally getting the water they need! If I’m in traffic, it’s THE BEST THING EVER because it gives us more time to look at the sky or listen to songs or talk about dinosaurs. And if I’m on a plane, it’s THE BEST THING EVER because we’re flying up in the sky, above the clouds to get to whatever awesome place we’re going to.  It’s special, and awesome, and people bring us juice and we can open and close the window shades and turn our light off and on. And we can lower our tray table and watch Backyardigan DVD’s!

I pretended that I liked flying. I pretended so well that Garrett believed me. And then this crazy thing happened. I started to believe it, too. And now I still get a tad panicky, but I pretend I don’t. And I don’t have any pooping issues. And I sleep pretty well. And I owe it all to my kid who, by the way, LOVES flying so much it’s INSANE! He even enjoys the whole airport shenanigans, including removing his shoes and jacket to go through security. Yup. He’s made it all much more enjoyable for all of us.

Fear number two: Almost completely gone.

Fear number three: The fear of being silly in public. I used to care what people thought of me when I was out and about in the world. I used to keep my songs inside my head. I’d never skip from the car to the restaurant. I wouldn’t race down the hall of a hotel. And I certainly didn’t blurt out the colors of all the fruits and vegetables at Trader Joes! Now I do all of that and more, without a thought of who’s looking at me or judging me. Garrett has brought out my silly side. I even ran around and around with him in circles at the airport the other day to make the plane come faster. (It totally worked.) And everyone was probably staring. But I didn’t care.

Fear of being silly: GONE GONE GONE.

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written by
Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!

18 Responses to “Fear Schmear”

  1. Reply Carla says:

    Oh Lisa! This post made me smile:) Thanks for making my day a bit brighter, and to feel like I should be more fearless!

  2. Reply Mother-in-law says:

    I too enjoyed the tales of your fears. Oh what our children can teach us.

  3. Reply Tina says:

    You are so sweet and funny. Three year olds are fearless, aren’t they? So now you are too. Perfect. Except for all our fears about them, like oh say, college tuition in fifteen years. But let’s not go there. Enjoy your fearless time and just a note, it’s hard to look silly when you are as lovely looking as you! Cheers, Tina @ Three In The Bed

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Very kind words, but I’m only lovely looking 26% of the time. It’s been documented. And yes, I surely have THOSE fears! Plus the fear of stitches, unorganized rooms, and huge messes that seem to occupy my home now. But I will conquer them all! Thanks, Tina.

  4. Reply Sherry says:

    I grew up with a lot of fears and one year I was determined to concur them all. I was afraid to order at a fast-food place. To talk to people and so much more. Then it was time to conquer my biggest fear..Heights! So I went with my brother to the county fair and went on EVERY hi ride they had. Never got easier and I actually bruised my brothers hand when we went on the ferris wheel. He didn’t mind, he loved seeing me scared like crazy. One last ride to go. It was a ride that started with two people in a cart and I was sitting back against my brother. It goes around in a circle and then slowly starts to rise to where we are going around like a ferris wheel only a lot faster and we went upside down. When I got off I was completely white and was about to pass out. My brother said ok no more! You are afraid of heights. I remember that fondly now because my brother loved torturing me and you should have seen his face after I got off that ride. He was the one with fear in his eyes! Lol
    I still have fears, but I conquered a lot because I became a mother. I learned to drive at 24 because I was pregnant and I needed to be able to take care of my child. I talked in front of people because my child needed me to be a voice for him.I have to be honest and tell you that I am arachnaphobic. I tried to get over it and watch the movie. Not good. I just decided to accept what I can’t change and to be the best I can be.
    You, as always, amaze me with your talent, your mommy skills, and your awesome personality. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Awwww, Sherry. Thank you. I have to say the heights thing is still an issue for me, as well. But I’m trying to get past it a little. I love that you learned to drive and that you taught yourself to speak in front of people for your kid! Oh, and I think a fear of fast food is a HEALTHY fear! I plan on holding onto that one. 😉

  5. Reply Mr. Bloomberg says:

    That does it. Next flight, I’m borrowing Garrett.

  6. Reply Norma Lamothe says:

    Becoming a mother really does change out lives! Love your story!

  7. Reply Laura says:

    This is a great post! Thanks for sharing. Kids do bring out the best in us. We will do anything to make them happy!

  8. Reply Sara says:

    I have never heard of anyone else with a fear of packing. I am almost stone cold frozen by the thought of having to pack (unless it is one night in town sleeping elsewhere). Real-suitcase-trip packing leaves me totally befuddled. I have an interview (yeah) coming up out of town (plane ride – I am not a huge fan either, but not so bad as your past life), in Winter. So….I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO PACK (in 3 weeks). I convinced my mom to come help me make outfits and tell me what to wear to the interview (I bake, she helps). I need Stacy and Clinton to come to my house and maybe they would not need to throw everything away, but they could just tell me what goes with what else.

    Good for you for conquering your fears. The other day one of the kiddos asked to sing a song at the bookstore which involves jumping and sticking your tongue out. I did not perform b/c I was afraid of looking like a total goof, but I did tell him to wait until we got home and I would certainly sing it with him then. Guess I should work on that….

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Yeah, packing makes me sick to my stomach. I’m always afraid of packing too much or too little or just… WRONG! My friend told me to roll everything instead of folding it to make more room. Apparently, things wrinkle less this way too. I think I’ll write a post about it. I HATE IT!
      Don’t ever worry about being goofy in public when you’re with your kids!!! Think of them like silly life vests in a sea of dull people. Strap them on and go crazy!

  9. Reply Angela says:

    Yup… Fears of mine….. I’ve got a thousand and one fears… Ah the symptoms of anxiety … Stomach trouble … Etc it’s horrible isn’t it
    It was a good blog.. Amazing how u managed to break ur cycles of the fears:)

    I have a fear of fainting.. Clean issues… Hm..
     SPIDErS snakes flying -( only when I get on the plane I’m ok )  almost like OCD.
    A fear of dying a fear of germs… Me me me and me

    So I’m a nut:) pllt everyone has there fears and we only grow from them and life changing too:) I think this makes sense???? Ok I’m not a total nut like a u know weird just whatver I have a fear of everything:)

  10. Reply Tracy K says:

    Great post!! I had a similar spider-fear conquering experience. It just goes to show we’re good moms because we’ll do anything to keep our kids from becoming as neurotic as us! 🙂

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