Thursday, June 05, 2008

When does fear come?

Greetings. Yeah, we are all healthy again, phew... thanks for your well wishes everyone.

Anyway, our friend Jenni wrote an interesting post today about her fearful reaction to a bad storm, and it got me thinking about fear. For instance…

Our sweet Danny LOVES the opportunity to crawl up steps any chance we’ll give him. He is absolutely gleeful at the prospect, and will chortle and giggle the whole way up. He does turn around periodically to give whoever is following him a quizzical look, but hey, he’s just happy to have us around.

He has no fear of falling. I know this because this morning he headed toward the staircase from the upstairs part of the house and happily launched himself downward. I caught him before he went anywhere, but my point is that he was absolutely fearless! (This was a controlled experiment by the way—baby gates are our friends.)

So, back to my original question. Where does fear come from? Are we born without any? When do the hard knocks of life begin to chip away at our blissful ignorance? I don’t know. Maybe some babies are born naturally fearful. Are there some evolutionary things at play here?

As a new mom I find that I have to manage my own anxiety fairly regularly so that I am not a blithering ball of stress. Case in point. Sleeping temperatures. Yes, if you read back through old posts you will note that this topic has come up before in regard to Danny. You see, a baby can’t do what we adults do. He can’t just pull a sheet or blanket over himself when he wakes up at 3 am, a bit chilly because a fan is blowing on him. But it’s so darn hot at night that we put him to bed in his onsie with the fan on medium just so he can be comfortable (and he likes the hum of the ceiling fan too.)

But I wake up in the night—practically bolt upright sometimes—just certain that he is shivering uncontrollably in the darkness of his room. Just for the record, this is ridiculous. I will admit that I often do creep down the hall and put the fan on a lower speed but I really don’t have to in this warm weather. I have to remind myself that if he is cold he will cry.

So when did this fear come for me? Was I so cold as a child? Probably not. This may remain an unsolved mystery for the ages.

But just to show that I am coping with my fears, this weekend we will put an AC unit in Danny’s window. I’m hoping that having the remote control thermostat in my sweaty little palm will work out for me ;-)

Take that fear!!! -Monica

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