“I just don’t want to go to school.”

Meadow and I were pulling out of the parking lot after dropping Charlie and Chanelle off at school.  It was a strange comment coming from my fairly independent 3-year old who has been talking about school next fall with far more excitement and enthusiasm than I have.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I turned the notch on the radio down a bit and continued the conversation.

Why don’t you want to go do school, Meadow?
Because I just don’t.
I thought you were excited about school?
No, I just don’t want to.  I will be scared.
You will be scared?  Why will you be scared?
I just don’t want to go to school.  My fingers are too small, so I can’t learn.

{I paused and bit down on my laughter.  3-year old logic slays me.}

Sweetie, I think you will really like school.  You will make friends, have a teacher and learn a lot of new things.  I have a feeling you will love it.

Girlfriend is persistent, I just don’t want to, she declared.

Because I am apparently a slow learner and didn’t learn with our older children that rationalizing just doesn’t work, I attempted to talk this one out with our 3-year old. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to impart an important life lesson. . .

Meadow, it’s okay to be scared.  You can be scared when you go to school.  You will probably be scared a lot of times in your life.  Being scared is okay.  Sometimes we have to do things even though we feel scared.  Charlie and Chanelle were scared when they started school, but now they like it. You might be scared the first couple of days, but then I think you will really like it.  Even Mommy gets scared sometimes, but we just have to do things scared.

{Insert cricket sounds and annoyed look. . . }


No, I just don’t want to, she responded matter of factly.

I decided we could save this conversation (and my over-the-head lecture) for another day.  I left Meadow alone and got lost in my own thoughts about being afraid.

I think about fear a lot.  I don’t think about it because I’m especially fascinated by it, but rather I am very aware of it. I am very aware that fear resides in almost ever fiber of my body.

You know those people who go out seeking adventure?  Those people who seek challenge as a way of life?  The men and women who tie a rope to their ankle and jump off a cliff and plunge toward water, only to be saved by the tension in the rope?  The people who pack up their things and move across the country with nothing but a dream and a belief that everything will be all right?  Those people who stand up on a stage and belt out a tune on karaoke night, without a care of who is watching or how they sound?

I’m nothing like those people.  Nothing.

Don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes, I try to fake it.  Sometimes I’m all like, Hey, how about this weekend we do something crazy.  I saw an ad for a skydiving class and I think we should do it! But then the weekend comes and I’m all like, hey! A Golden Girls marathon is on Lifetime!

Okay, that’s not really true, but it’s pretty close.  Or, it may be true.

I like to feel safe.  I like knowing that something solid is underneath me.  I like to bury myself in home and all that comes with home.  Safety, security, acceptance, love, and comfort.

Ah, yes.  Comfort.  It’s my drug of choice.

Left on my own, I would bury myself with my precious drug of familiarity.  Sure, like any good addict, I would pretend that all was good and then I would drown myself in all the predictability, security, and peace that comes with the sweet comforts of home–and life would be just fine.

Just fine.

Maybe it happens when I see my own kids scared.  Maybe it’s when I pay attention to the stirrings that live deep in my soul.  Maybe it’s the keen recognition that now is all I really have.  Maybe it’s a combination of a lot of things–but deep within me, there is something else.  Within the millions of fibers that scream out and run toward intoxication in the land of comfort, there are teeny tiny scattered fibers that are calling for something different.  There aren’t many of them and they are small–but they are there–and they have power.

These fibers?  They are the dreamers, the believers, the go-getters.  These are the fibers that sober me up from comfort and speak truth–your words mean nothing without experience behind them.

I’ve lived enough life to know that, at least for me, a lot of things are scary.  Change is scary, risk is scary, new things are scary, the unknown is scary.  I could go on and on. . . all of these things bring discomfort and fear.  I’ve also lived enough life to know that fear is not an enemy, it’s only a feeling. As each year goes by I learn more and more how important it is not to run away from a feeling.

Now, more than ever, I’ve come to accept the importance of being comfortable being uncomfortable.  Now, more than ever, I understand that the blows I may take after setting down my sweet drug of comfort pale in comparison to the effects of a lifetime habit of security.

Maybe I’m over-analyzing a simple conversation with a 3-year old.  But maybe it’s more than that. Maybe the choices I make now, mean far more to them than my words ever will.  Maybe as they see me facing my own fears, doing things scared, they will understand that scary isn’t all that scary.

I’m not saying that I’m going to hop on a plane with a parachute strapped to my back.  And it’s not likely that I will be belting out These Boots Are Made for Walking on a karaoke stage.  I think it will be more subtle, quiet.  

I will say yes.

When all those millions of fibers belt out a defiant no and push me toward safety, I want to wade from the shore and dip my toe into the unknown with a quiet yes.  Yes, I will try that new thing.  Yes, I will stretch in that new way. Yes, I will experience that new experience.

Yes, I will do that thing that scares me, in spite of my fear.

And maybe right now it won’t mean a whole lot to them.  I mean, of course Meadow will go to preschool next fall and she won’t likely over-analyze fear the way that I do.  But as their years move on, I think they will see.  I think they will notice that the world opens not when we overcome fear, but when we move forward in spite of it.  

Steven Pressfield sums it up perfectly in this book. . .” Never forget:  This very moment, we can change our lives.  There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. . . .”

And this one. . .

“. . . there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.  

Perhaps fear is just an indicator that something really matters. . .

{End over-analyzing}
{Cue, fun pictures.)

Chanelle had her 100th day of school this week.  We decked her out with fake glasses, cane, and all the works.

The glasses have become a permanent fixture.  She wears them all. the. time.

I’m sure it’s a phase.  We think it’s a pretty cute one.

Valentine’s Day Prep. . .

Taza continues to grow and add life (and chaos) to our home. . .

Winter colds have had our littlest down. . .

But it doesn’t take away from her cuteness. . .

Did you know last Friday was National Frozen Yogurt Day?  (Otherwise known as its-the-middle-of-winter-and-no-one-eats-ice-cream-so-we-need-a-reason-to-make-people-eat-ice-cream.)

We took that bait.

Charlie just came in and I told him I wish I had more pictures of him.  His response?  But that’s boring. I’ve got things to do.

I think that’s a wrap. . .

Have a happy weekend and a lovely Valentine’s Day!

  • Wrestling Kitties - February 24, 2015 - 6:12 pm

    Have I mentioned how much I love your pictures and how damn cute your kids are?!?


    The school thing, oh man. Sweet girl. Your speech was great though!!

    We have the opposite. Terry and I are both VERY much introverts. Loners. I am afraid of everything, even the uncontrollable. And we were blessed with a son who is not. No fear. Who wants to do it all. Go to school now. Be with his kids. Asks me repeatedly for a brother or sister (sigh). It is new territory for us, haha!! Henry is right on the cusp of being able to go to school early (goes to daycare now). He will most likely be the kid who benefits from going early, being the youngest and following the older kids. It is where he flourishes.

    These kids!!ReplyCancel

    • Summer Kellogg - March 12, 2015 - 12:53 pm

      Oh, I get that. Chad and I are introverts, too, and having kids certainly pushes those limits, doesn't it, Jenn? Sigh. . .

      How fun it will be to see Henry grow and (no doubt) flourish at school.

      Yes, I agree . . . these kids. . .;)ReplyCancel

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