The fearlessness of kids

April 18, 2012

Until tonight, I thought I knew about fear.I've done a lot of dumb stuff in my life, risking my own safety (and others; sorry). I've overcome my personal fears too many times to count and have come out relatively unscathed. Some broken bones, blood and bruises, but nothing too "major".

But tonight, out for a bike ride with our kids, with me on my skateboard, I learned that fear is much, much scarier when it's not yours to control and conquer.

Our five-year old son learned how to ride his bike without training wheels less than a week ago. He's already riding faster and doing crazier stuff than his seven-year old sister who's been riding a bike for years.

Tonight I watched him barrel down a busy road, skid in the gravel, bounce up and down curbs, and generally be reckless but miraculously stay in control. All I could do was watch from afar and yell "Slow down!" or "Use your brakes!" and hope/pray that he'd come out the other side.

It took me almost an hour afterwards to truly calm down. Him? Off to play with toys and read a book like nothing ever happened.

Boy, oh boy. This should be fun.