In my younger years, I had some pretty exciting times. When you are unaware that you are living for anyone but yourself, it is an easy thing to do. Harmless, but crazy fun.
Then I became a mom. Always a person that would faint at the sight of her own blood, I wondered how I could possibly take care of a baby. But with parenthood came strength. I found that I could handle bloody cuts, the very dirtiest diaper and it even became automatic for me to try and catch the vomit instead of letting it ruin the beautiful carpet. Did I think I was fearless? Almost.
I became much braver about things that I never imagined that I would but incredibly fearful of other things. On a recent family vacation, my sons, ages 5 and 6, wanted to ride on a rollercoaster. I watched our third son while my husband accompanied the two of them on the ride. I waited at the bottom, ready to wave wildly as their car plunged down the steep drop. My eyes fixed on the metal track that seemed nearly vertical. The piercing scream of terrified passengers racing down that vertical track caused my jaw to drop. Wait a minute! Who said it was okay for my babies to go on a ride like this? My chest began to tighten. My hands began to sweat. My mouth suddenly was dry as my head started to pound. These were normally the feelings that I would have if I were getting ready to ride. But this time it felt so much worse.
Sadly for me, the panic was intensified as I waited for my family to finish their fun. I could not stop the images of my beautiful children flying out of their seats. I couldn’t stop my mind from seeing them thrown around and I was helpless to do anything. I pictured every worst case scenario in the agonizing time that I waited. Then I realized that the seats were in rows of two. I gasped out loud because I knew that one of the boys would get to ride next to my husband and one would be alone. I was fighting the urge to run to them. I wanted to snatch them out of the line. I wanted to hold them back and keep them safe with me.
It wasn’t until I finally saw them running to me that I could finally relax.