The anxiety of my children is a mystery I don’t know if I’ll ever fully comprehend. While we were traveling, BalletBoy went down the rock slide at the lake by Papa and Granny’s house. This is a two part water slide and the second one is quite a fast drop into the water. But both Mushroom and BalletBoy did it multiple times after only a little bit of hesitation. On the other hand, just a couple days before, BalleyBoy went into a children’s play structure at the Chehaw Animal Park, spotted a picture of a giant termite on the wall, and had a near panic attack of terror, screaming and shaking. There’s no logic or reason to this. The slide isn’t dangerous per se, but it certainly has an element of thrill to it and you typically get a nose full of water at the end so I can understand being afraid of it. But a picture of a bug inside a pretend cave with a dinky slide inside it? I don’t get it. Not one bit. That didn’t stop me from telling him it was okay and offering whatever comfort I could, but I’m still a little confused.
It’s not the first time one of my kids has been suddenly, uncontrollably freaked out about something completely unexpectedly. I think it must be that when you’re so young and inexperienced, it must be really hard to discern what’s actually dangerous and what isn’t. My kids are both pretty cautious by nature, so that must make it even harder. Still, I struggle to soothe what are obviously irrational fears. Mushroom once briefly entertained a fear of dolphins, who he thought might be able to swim up the pipes to bite his butt when he sat on the toilet. Why couldn’t they be scared of something more stereotypical? There are books about being scared of thunderstorms and the dark.