Dread or Dragonflies?

Handling fear in the rearing of your child


There’s nothing like a pregnancy for first-time parents; the dreaminess of imagining that little bundle of joy in your arms, or the games of “Patty-Cake” played over and over again in the backyard garden with your dimpled, smiling child in the warmth of the smiling sun. But then there’s the fear – the terror of losing the womb-child to the horrible void of death by some strange accident of nature during those fragile trimesters of development.

Those nightmares interrupt the happy daydreams with such starkness and severity that the line walked between anticipation and fear becomes as slender as a tiny tendril of grass.

And this, of course, says nothing of the teetering emotions of dread and excitement that threaten each other daily – sometimes hourly – that are induced by hormones, circumstance, discomfort, and doubt. Questions of competence, confidence, aptitude, and ability come into play in entirely new ways when both father and mother contemplate what the next stage of life will be like. These questions are met with desperate tears, at times, and with loving handholding and star-gazing during others.

Truth is, that while you are in the midst of this and wonder which way is up and which is down, the answer is YES. You are not crazy, you are not simply a “worry-wart” or a daydreamer – parenthood is and must be, parts of both:

Without those flowery images of happy moments full of butterflies and giggles with your little one, how will she learn to smile at the stars, or hum with the dragonflies as they flit along the pond’s edge? And without the crippling fears of danger and death claiming an all-too-soon victory over your wee one, how will he grow up a young man of tempered wisdom and self-control; able to defend himself and the ones he loves?

Parenting children never has one right answer, but allowing yourself a calm centeredness while raising your beautiful child will teach your child to grow up with the keen intuition and understanding that you long to instill in their hearts, but fear you cannot achieve.