Monday, July 27, 2015

Braving the Drainage Grates

I just finished reading a book by Brené Brown called Daring Greatly, and it deserves to be talked about much more than I'm going to talk about it tonight, but I told myself I would only write while the zucchini bread bakes and since it's one of those quick breads...well, this is going to be quick. In fact, it seems there's just enough time for a story.

So here's the story. The book I just read is all about vulnerability and bravery and risk. Naturally, it was not applicable to me at all since I never struggle with fear or trust or feeling ashamed of who I am in the least. Cough, cough. But that's not the story.

That book, right on the top. Not the one Bruiser is reading.

The thing is, I have this child, this amazing, wonderful, hair brained, crazy child who sometimes (occasionally) struggles with fear. In fact, he has been known to have nightmares before he even falls asleep. Although, come to think of it, that may just be him stalling at bed time.

So, it took him a few months to come around to the idea of getting into the ocean. We had to give him numerous pep talks. And possibly bribe him with marshmallows. But we got there. This week he told me that sharks can eat your bones off, so I suppose his fears were well founded.

This week I discovered that he was scared to walk over drainage grates. Which I kind of get. What if it's not stable? What if it slips and you fall in? What if your favorite toy that you didn't even know you were carrying somehow drops out of your pocket and disappears into the great unknown? What if something with slimy tentacles reaches out and grabs you?

Anyway, when he told me he wouldn't walk over the drainage grate, I told him to walk around it, but being a good mother, I also demonstrated (and got his brother to demonstrate) that there was really nothing to be scared of by walking over it several times myself. Then we kept going to wherever it was we were headed. I thought that was the end of it.

I know. She's adorable.

But today we pulled into the library parking lot and were heading in to exchange books, and this unnamed child was dawdling by the car, so I called out to him to come on so we go in. Instead of running towards me, he asked shyly if first he could walk across the drainage grate in the middle of the parking lot.

I promise I checked for cars first. And I also made him hold his brother's hand. But I've never been so proud of him. And I didn't even have to offer copious amounts of sugar to get him to do it.

Lovely, isn't it?

There was no reason that he had to rise to the occasion, nothing to force him out of his fear, but he knew that he didn't want to keep on letting his fears limit him. And so, instead of waiting until he was backed into a corner with no other option but to face his fear, he attacked it head on.

May we all be so brave. Here's to you and here's to your drainage grates. Walk on over them. Grab hold of your brother's hand if you need to, but walk on over them with gusto.

But before you do, go read Daring Greatly. Just don't accidentally drop your copy into the drainage grate while you're crossing.


  1. Love to see Tim growing! Good read!!!

  2. They are all heroically brave geniuses. Now to get them to watch a movie all the way through without crying to turn it off when the bad guys show time. :)