Maybe you peed your pants. Cried. Lost your breath. Laughed. Yelled bad words. Froze.
I was maybe 9. He was painted purple from head to toe.
You tell me, as I will never be able to understand the inner-workings of a 10-year-old boy’s mind.
I was pulling my best friend, Schuyler, down the hallway in a laundry basket. My brother busts out of the bedroom, running down the hall, screaming, covered in purple paint from head to toe. I simultaneously fell down on my butt, hollered, and peed my pants.
Once upon a time, my wise youth pastor, and now father-in-law, told us newborn babies have two fears–falling and loud noises.
We then develop (some of us) loads more…
Spiders: a night of “Arachnophobia” with Autumn Hall and then my mother telling me to go take a bath before bed. (You mean in the bathroom…the room where the spiders existed in this movie?)
The dark: my mother holding a trash bag over her head (at nighttime) shouting like a creepy river creature from the alley to scare me. It worked, mom.
Closets: The Ring
Being in the ocean: too much shark week, Steve Irwin dying from not a crocodile while in the ocean, the Thailand tsunami, and the depths of the unknown.
Being taken: creepy stalker guys at a hotel when I was flying solo for a few hours at 14ish.
Climbing: I have no idea!
Oh wait. The opening scene of Cliffhanger!! One of the three movies we watched repetitively as a child. Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and Cliffhanger.
Today, while hiking at Red Rock Canyon, Kyle, who secretly wants to be a rock climber, ran ahead to make sure we could make it down a (from afar) seemingly treacherous path. Upon checking it out he said, “I think we can make it.” Mind you…(as always) we had a 9 year old, 7 year old, 5 year old, and 2 year old with us. Me being the trusting wife I am was like “woohoo, let’s go!”
Kyle climbs down. Hads climbs down. Macs climbs halfway down, gets a bit scared, and then I plop him on over toward the edge to lower him down to Kyle. J whines a bit, and I’m like “come here, bro…you’re fine.” I grab his arms and toss (kidding) him down to Kyle. By this point, Everly is like, “no way!” (Which was expected after she experienced a massive fall a few years ago). She had climbed back up to the top out of my reach and was convinced she’s going to leave us all and take the long way down. Being in a weird position and unable to get back up to her, I coaxed her into getting close enough to me that I could grab her leg. I then scooted her down the edge and dangled her to Kyle. “Just trust me, you’re good.”
In the instant that child left my hands and I was alone, the “I think we can make it” way, turned into a massive cliff of doom and destruction. Trying to breathe through my fear, I was quickly reminded of my unsuccessful climbs at the Falls Creek ropes course back in high school and the RAWC climbing wall at OBU a few months prior. Fight, flight, or freeze. Every single time my feet are not on the ground it’s freeze for me. I sit there thinking I can’t move.
I was in the exact spot I was in moments before when I was wiggling around grabbing children and tossing them down while saying “it’s okay”…and fully believing that, but now I wasn’t protecting little people and then the fear sat in.
After a bit of Kyle coaching me down, my feet finally hit the ground. In that instance I was reminded of all the motherhood superpowers (fatherhood superpowers too if any of you guys are here).
Maybe it’s trying to make your kids believe everything’s okay when it doesn’t feel like it is, running on a lack of sleep for months (or years), giving and giving when there’s nothing left to give, keeping your mouth shut when you have zero desire to keep your mouth shut, finding the strength to get out of bed and do life when your world just came crashing down around you, becoming the crazy-fighter-momma when the creepy guy who’s been staring at you and your kids walks past you for the third time as you tell him with your face and eyes that you have accessible pepper spray and a less lethal version of brass knuckles in your fanny pack and he better back off before you ruin his face.
There’s this strange superpower momma bear thing that we tap into even if you aren’t sure where it comes from. I mean for heaven’s sake, just bringing them into the world is an adventure all of its own…and then feeding them…and feeding them…and feeding them…and feeding them.
There’s strength and courage and ability pulsing through you. In those moments when you feel weak or scared or incapable, remember “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
Bye friends. 🙂