Sunday, 11 January 2015

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Here's Arlo on the slide the other day. Although if I was being more accurate, I should probably say: Here's Arlo sitting at the top of he slide the other day. Because he didn't actually make it down. This has happened the last few times we've gone to he park - he gets up there, sits himself at the top, looks down, and then stops. I can tell he's a bit worried as he very carefully gets off and takes my hand so we can walk back down the hill the slide is at the top of together.

But it's not like he's never gone down the slide before - he used to. All the time. Over and over until I'd drag him away and try and plonk him on the swings for a bit. So something now is stopping him doing it, despite all my encouragement. It's like he now knows too much and he's a bit worried about going down - maybe it's the height, or the speed, or the fact that he can't see me down at the bottom, or all manner of other things in his mind that I can't even imagine. 

I feel sad that one of his favourite carefree things to do has now turned into something he's too scared to try (at least for the time being anyway). I suppose this is something that is going to happen as he gets older. It's certainly happened to me lately. I have memories that I can't quite believe are real - of things I just wouldn't do now. I can't believe I once jumped out of an aeroplane. Or walked out of a job I didn't like without anywhere else to go. Or paddled through a crocodile-infested river because I couldn't be bothered to walk he long way round (I think that last one was more stupidity than bravery in fact). These are all things I would be too scared to do now. But that I'm glad I did. 

Before Xmas I was at Facebook's offices for a meeting, and they have almost every wall covered in what I suppose they think are inspirational thoughts for employees. There was one that stuck with me though. It asked 'what would you do if you weren't afraid?' I think it's a good question. Fear is something that stops us doing things big and small, whether we're aware of it or not, and although it can make us think twice about doing things that are really a bit silly (I can safely say I won't be walking with crocs ever again!) it also can hold us back from things - things that feel unknown or different to usual. So we have something of a new year's resolution in the Lewis-Wild household - to be brave. For me that's about just getting on and bloody doing all those things I think I might quite want to do but somehow always find a reason not to. And for Arlo, we'll be getting back on the slide and remembering how much fun it always used to be.


  1. Slide away arlo. Or just swing whilst you are winning x

  2. My little boy went through a phase of this too! I just ignored it, but about a year later he started enjoying slides again. If I wasn't afraid - I would do everything!

    1. Ahh that's nice to hear, thanks - I'm hoping he has more sliding left in him yet! x