Yesterday, we were females facing fears.
The little girls and I went to the community pool in the mid-morning. As a mom outnumbered, I kept them mostly in the shallow end. We waded, paddled, and floated as the clouds gathered. The sky became increasingly threatening and finally after a few impressive lightning flashes, we reluctantly packed up and headed home.
The torrential downpour hit as we drove the short two minutes home. Unable to resist the monsoon “lakes” growing in our street and front yard, the big girl pulled on her rain-boots and jumped with all her might. Not much cuter than a little girl in a swimsuit and galoshes, is there? :)The tiny one and I found ourselves joining her with glee.
Then there was the rinsing, drying, and snacking.
I snuggled the little one and tried to put her down for her nap. I slipped out of her door and headed to grab the video monitor to make sure she didn’t have one of her breath-holding spells. (I’ll elaborate on those fears someday, promise). As I passed by the living room, I noticed the front door swung wide open.
Where was the big sister?!
In spite of our builder’s idiotic placement of the dead-bolt right above the door handle, our 3.5 year old is usually so good about this. She knows to check before answering a knock or door bell. She knows that she is not supposed to open this door without permission. And yet there it was- open wide.
My breath escaped me as I ran to find her… in the front yard picking up mesquite beans. I think I uttered a “What are you doing?!” as I scooped her up and set her inside the door. I thought my expression said it all as I told her I would be right back after I checked on the breath-holding baby.
I resettled the little one and returned to find my big girl clearly not grasping the gravity of what had just happened. I started lecturing, searching for something that would get her attention here. Suddenly, I thought of her forceful imagination. I suggested “Let’s pretend something!” We re-enacted the scary (to-me) situation. She opened the door and strolled out, innocent as a little lamb.
Moments later I snatched her- a bad guy taking her far away from her family.
Her eyes were wide as I set her down, and her lower lip started to tremble as we talked about how scary this was and how much we all would miss each other. We embraced, cried, and theorized about doors, danger, and what else could happen. Both visibly shaken by the topics and tactics, we found comfort in our routine of story-reading while the little one napped.
Later that evening there was yet another fearful encounter. As we did our nightly lap around the cul-de-sac, I looked ahead to see a prancing foot about to step on an enormous hairy tarantula. Yup, these scary looking beasts really come out after a summer rain. They are huge and supposedly harmless, but they seriously look like fake Halloween decorations- functional fangs and all. Of course I scream, grab the big girl (again) and turn, only to see the spider headed straight for the tiny one now sitting in the middle of a driveway! Tossing my surprised firstborn to the side, I scoop up the baby. The traumatized spider scuttles under a car. Two little bewildered faces stare up at their clearly crazy mama.
They never even saw the tarantula. Biology lesson missed.
We head back to the house, me cracking Little Miss Muffet jokes all the way in an attempt to reassure them that I am not completely off my rocker.
But later that night, the real fears set in. While the babies are tucked in bed, mommy fears creep. Sinister whispers of doubt and what-ifs.
Were we safe enough in the pool? And how about that breath-holding, oh the breath-holding…? Were my runaway stranger-danger tactics excessive? Cruel even? When she just “wanted to see if it had stopped raining, mommy!” Did I scare her too much? Was it too little? Did either (or both) of them feel tossed aside during the spider incident? Am I a worthy mom? On and on…
In the wee hours I mull. And speculate. And strategize on how to raise reasonable healthy humans. Little people who are safely obedient, but not afraid to experience the great big world.
And yes, we will be getting that security door sooner rather than later.
But there is no security door for their hearts. Or mine. We’re just doing the best we can. And learning as we go.
What to do with those fears?
Then I notice that it’s after midnight so I check my phone for the new “call” I have been getting daily lately. It started with the little Jesus Calling devotional book that seemed so on target each day. And then my friend found an app for that.
I click on the day 7/19 and there it is. He called it…
“Bring Me all your feelings, even the ones you wish you didn’t have…Blazing missiles of fear fly at you day and night… affirm your trust in Me, regardless of how you feel…Do not hide from your fear or pretend it isn’t there… Bring your anxieties out into the Light of My Presence, where we can deal with them together. Concentrate on trusting Me, and fearfulness will gradually lose its foothold within you.”
There is freedom from fear.
“Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”