As the proud mother of a fearless kid, I am quite familiar with fear and anxiety that other parents, floating in my same shaky boat as me, feel on a daily basis. Having a fearless kid can be terrifying. You know what doesn’t help the situation? Having people constantly comment on my child’s obvious disdain for gravity. I can attest to the things parents of fearless kids are tired of hearing from the oblivious onlookers gazing at our rebellious little renegades. To those people I say (kindly, of course) that I would like to explain the eternal struggle of raising fearless children so that, maybe, you don't say those things again.
You see, having a fearless child means that I basically double up on my own fear. Every time my son carelessly falls off of the couch or the dining room table or the kitchen counter, I speak 100 prayers in between his leap and his landing, praying that this won’t be the time he breaks his arm. So far, and as I say this as I’m knocking on wood, he hasn’t inured himself terribly. He’s gotten better at sticking his landing like the ninja he aspires to be, and I’ve come to terms with my anxiety and, in a way, become quite accustomed to my son’s acrobatics. I try my best to give him enough room to grow, while also hovering just close enough to save him from any possible catastrophes. I have accepted this struggle as a part of my life.
So, if I can accept my child fearless antics, other people who aren’t keeping an eye on him 24 hours a day to make sure that he doesn’t impale himself should be able to accept them, too, right? That’s just not the case though, because I’m still hearing the following nine things about my fearless child, and honestly, I just don’t have time for it. No, seriously, my kid is about to do a cannonball off of the couch.
“Do They Climb Everything?”
For the most part, yes. The good news is, if they need to run away from some wild animal in the forest, they’re more than capable of seeking shelter in the tallest tree. The bad news is, well, gravity. Trust me, I’m well aware of the dangers, and I keep as close an eye on him as I reasonably can, but sometimes my little monkey escapes my kung fu grip.
“Aren’t You Afraid They’re Going To Get Hurt?”
Um, yes. Yes, I am. Quite terrified, actually, but I do my best to make sure that we are in a safe environment during one of his many explorations, and I keep an eye on him constantly. Sometimes, yes, he does get hurt. Thankfully, nothing major has occurred, but eventually he might break an arm or a finger. That’s just life. I can’t protect him from everything, I can only do my best.
“You’re Going To Have To Bubble Wrap Your House Or Get That Kid A Helmet”
First of all, he already has a helmet. Second, if I had enough bubble wrap to coat my entire house in it, I definitely would. Not necessarily for the safety, but rather for the sheer joy I’d feel from popping every bubble.
“You Just Let Them Roam Alone?”
Somewhat, yes. When I was a kid, I was able to explore the neighborhood with my friends on our bikes. We wouldn’t come home until the sun was going down, and no one ever worried about someone abducting us. I get that today things are different, and I probably wouldn’t allow my son to explore an entire neighborhood out of my sight, but kids need room to grow and explore and discover. I give my child enough independence to do these things, as long as I can still see him.
“They’re Not Very Affectionate, Are They?”
Most fearless kids, by nature, aren’t incredibly affectionate children. They’re too busy exploring and climbing things to pause for hugs and kisses. However, reminding me that my son has no interest in letting me snuggle his perfect, squishy little cheeks doesn’t make me feel any better about dealing with a fearless kid.
“Do They Ever Sit Still?”
Sure. Sometimes. Usually when they're contemplating their next move.
From The Doctor: “Oh, It’s You Again”
Thankfully, we haven’t had to take too many trips to the doctor with our kids, but I’ve already mentally prepared myself for the inevitable "doctor" phase of my son’s life. We have been a few times though, and with a very short amount of "emergency" appointments. Doctors really shouldn’t complain about fearless kids though, considering they’re the ones who a funding their next trip to Cabo.
From The Family: “Do You Always Just Let Them Do Whatever They Want?”
To me, this comment seems odd and conflicting. Grandparents (or at least my kids' grandparents) are constantly spoiling children. For the most part, I’m OK with that, until they start commenting on the fearless kid’s behavior by saying things like, “You just let him do whatever he wants?” No, I don’t let him do whatever he wants, but I do give him the freedom to explore. Also, he probably wouldn’t be climbing every wall like Spider Man if you hadn’t pour six pounds of sugar down his throat. Just sayin'.
From Random Strangers: “That One Needs A Leash”
Ugh, I always said that I wouldn’t be the mom who walked around with her kids on leashes, but my fearless son has made me question that decision. Typically, he stays within ten or so feet of me if we’re out in public, unless it’s extremely crowded and he needs to be closer, but every so often he’ll make a dash for a lemonade stand or a dog or another kid who is running from his parents. I’m fairly quick on my feet myself, so he never gets very far at all, but in the moments when I’m lunging towards him to keep him from imminent danger, I get lots of stares and angry brows and, yes, people randomly suggesting that he needs a leash.