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Reel life lessons

What follows is a bit off topic, but I thought it was worth sharing. If you’re only here for the scoop on products, move on to the next post.

When I was little, I was brave. Trolling the beach for treasures, I wasn’t afraid to scoop up a crab and let it creep across my hand. But as I got older, I got squeamish. Suddenly, the little fiddler crabs and I experienced a role reversal, and now I was the one who scuttled off hastily when I saw them coming.

Then, I had kids. For the first few summers, I avoided the crabs, and soon enough, my girls were scared too. Ashamed of myself, I resolved to conquer my fears. Last year, I took a deep breath, reached down and grabbed a crab. I slapped a smile on my face and showed my girls what I was made of. Sure enough, they’re not afraid anymore.
Crabs I could reconquer, but I’ve never, ever liked worms. So today, when my eldest wanted to go fishing, my stomach started to knot up. But then someone I hardly recognized grabbed a shovel and pail and dug up three horrible, pink, undulating worms. That same woman got on a boat, and with grim determination, managed to spear a worm onto a hook and help her daughter cast off her rod. It couldn’t have been me, right?

On her first try, my 5-year old caught a fish. She really did. As the fish flopped around in our bucket, I tried to parlay my shrieks of terror into squeals of joy. My daughter glowed for hours, while I rode a roller coaster of emotions. Ridiculous as it sounds, I felt so sorry for that fish, and personally responsible for his pain and suffering (though ultimately, we threw him back). But I was also thrilled for my daughter, reveling in her sense of accomplishment. And I still can’t figure it out. By suppressing my own fears, did I open a door for my daughter, or did I miss a critical opportunity to teach her about life as I see it? I can’t really answer that question, but I do know this: when my daughter asks to go fishing again, I hope I’ll be there. I wouldn’t want to miss seeing the look on her face if she catches another one.

One comment

  1. This post really hit home! I, too have had to relinquish my own fears to let my girls “live” and try new things without judgement. My youngest daughter, age 5 is a horse lover…where she got this passion we have no clue! She truly shouldn’t coming from families with deep roots in cities, my hubby from Newton and my family from Berlin, Germany…we are CITY FOLK – through and through. But whaaaaa, not my daughter…she relishes in the joy of mucking out, “jumping” fences and smelling like the ground; her golden hair in tangles, her chestnut eyes satified to no end…but I know what she’s doing – experiencing and enjoying LIFE – I on the otherhand have my heart in my sleeve and never part without muttering “safety first!” LOL. Motherhood is a true test of our core…I’m glad we have each other to help us through these amazing times!
    This post touched my heartstrings…many thanks!

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