Dear friend, permit me a small ramble. Permit me a stream of consciousness about my son. If you want to know my conclusion up front, well here it is. I am in awe of my son’s lask of fear.
Now, let me backtrack a bit.
This past week while we were traveling through South Africa, I kept asking my son if he was ok and how he felt. It is a big thing for a seven year to travel the world the way that he has. We went on a couple of mini safaris and he was eager to interact with the animals we came across on the journey. There was not much he was afraid of and I was mightily impressed.
He happily chatted away with strangers on the tours. He was the star of one of the tours we went on with other tourists helping him catch glimpses of the animals. They talked to him seeking his thoughts on the ongoing events. He was eager to peer into the crocodile pens while I held back a little. I was in awe of my seven year old son. So courageous and outgoing. I am not too sure I was ever like him growing up. I grew up shy despite my neverending stage performances. I grew up scared due to the constant violence on the streets I had to walk through from school to home.
My son has a different upbringing that I had. That is what, we as parents, aim for, correct? We want our kids to have an easier life than us. We want them to have more opportunities. We want to right the wrongs through our children. We want them to have it better.
I am not too sure I will know anytime soon the overall impact of my son growing up so differently than I did. I do know one thing about him, though. He is not afraid of much in this world. And I am happy about that.
I went into his room last night and there he sat comfortably on his bed playing on his laptop. He was laughing and completely engrossed in the game. He was free and carefree. I stared at him for a second while he smiled to himself. He could hang out in his room and not worry about someone breaking into his room through the window. (knock on wood). Growing up, I was afraid at times to hang out in my own bedroom as many would climb up my window onto the fire escape above. That was just how it was.
I asked my son, if there was anything that he was afraid of in this world. He looked at me with confused eyes. Then he cheerily said to me “well, zombies are scary because they can jump scare me.” I noted that he had previosuly explained ot me that zombies were not real. “I know. They are not but they are still scary.”
I chuckled. Real life doesn’t scare him. Fake zombies do. I can live with that.