new york city kid in arkansas
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Last week Huck was taken to see a new movie with a friend and his family, only to be sweetly returned to us about three-quarters of the way through by a very understanding mom who sensed his anxiety.  The next day I received an email from another friend’s dad who was volunteering at the school health fair where he witnessed a very distraught Huck, having just been told they were out of flu mist and the only other option was the flu shot.  A few days after that we were at Huck’s school’s fall festival when suddenly he became very afraid he would be “arrested” and put into the “jail” by his gang of girl friends, suddenly insisting it was time to go home while he quickly ate his Italian Ice that made his lips bright blue.  I think I was wearing a hog nose around my neck at the time.

All of these fearful responses not only ripped my mother-heart into a million pieces but also caused me to break every rule of listening and instantly try to fix him.  ”You have to stop embracing your fears!” I exclaimed.  ”You must fight these things that are holding you back!”  I practically sang.  ”There is nothing to be afraid of!” I pantomimed, out of breath.  He nodded but looked shifty-eyed, not quite convinced. Then on Sunday morning in meditation class following 30 minutes of silence the subject was anger and fear, and someone said that hopefully we all had a wise adult in our lives when we were children telling us it was OK to feel the way we felt. Hours later I looked Huck straight into his brown eyes and made sure he knew it was okay to be afraid.

How do we prepare children for this big scary world? How do you convince them that shots are quick and important? That most of the time bees don’t sting? That zombies aren’t real?  That girls are supposed to tease?  That we’re not going to die for a really long time?  That it’s time to give “Finding Nemo” another chance?  That he’s as perfect as a fall day?

I don’t know.  But I do know this: Sometimes Huck forgets to put on his deodorant in the morning, and this really troubled him until he discovered that it lasts up to 48 hours.  ”It’s my warranty,” he explains with a cheerful smile. “Well, not for perspiration, but for smelling good.”

5 comments

mary McMahan

October 27th, 2015

you did great Jonny, I let my kids know and my grandbabies know I was scared of things too, and it is ok to be afraid, and yes talk to an adult mom or dad or grandma , whom ever they feel comfortable with, I do not force them to do what they are afraid of, let them work it out , :)

Aunt Jeni

October 27th, 2015

Oh I love this. Isn’t this even true as an adult? And the best part of this is that I got to see you in a pig’s nose. You should voxer me pig noises now..although that may scare Lily. XOXO

Shauntsies

October 27th, 2015

Oh, m’heart!!!! I agree with Jeni re the pig nose. Pig noses make everything a little less scary. Unless they’re dried and in a bag for your dog to chew on.

Tia Rosie

October 27th, 2015

So many emotions. My heart broke for Huck. I too get anxious about crazy stuff. It’s gonna be ok, Huck and if it isn’t you got mom wearing her pig nose to protect you.

Love you guys.

Pappy T

October 27th, 2015

Wouldn’t it be great to have a life-deodorant? You’d still sweat it out sometimes — but you’d be guaranteed to not stink.

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