It dawned on me recently that I am not brave. I am not fearless. I am not free of anxiety or judgement of others. I won't climb too high on a ladder, and I hate to fly (the theory of jet propulsion is completely lost on me). Spiders, roaches, rats, mice, palo verde beetles, snakes, lizards, and people in giant costumes (Disneyland is my personal hell) render me completely useless, and usually leave me breathless, and in tears. And there was that one time where a change of clothes was in order.
Yes. I really just admitted that.
I roll my eyes when I see girls at the bar in shirts that barely cover their nipples and skirts so short you can see their ovaries. I won't eat meat that looks like what it is. That means I won't eat fish if it still looks like A FISH. I won't eat chicken nuggets cut in the shape of a chicken. I won't eat crab or lobster (date me, you won't go broke), or octopus, or anything that was once cute and fuzzy, i.e. venison, rabbit, or veal. This is me. I am 35 years old, typically abled, and I have learned all of these behaviors in one way or another, for one reason or another.
Then there's my kid. One of her favorite things in the world is being thrown into the air, or flipped around and around by my hands. She loves to sit on shoulders. She will eat absolutely ANYTHING you put in front of her. If it's food she's on it, and lucky for her she's got the metabolism of a Kenyan marathoner (whereas I have the metabolism of a sloth). I have a picture of her petting a lizard, cuddling with a rat, and smiling with Clifford The Big Red Dog, Absolutely NO ONE is a stranger to her. I am sure when she gets to kindergarten her teacher is going to have to have a very very VERY long talk with her about stranger danger. However, the notion that not everyone is nice, and not everyone is going to like her doesn't even register with her. She smiles at the homeless man in the median who bears a striking resemblance to good ol' Charlie Manson. She waves at the woman behind us in line at the grocery store who is talking to herself and muttering all sorts of obscenities that not even I would say (and I kind of have a love affair with the F-bomb - don't judge me). This is my munchkin. Full of light and love, and accepting of everyone that crosses her path. She is completely fearless and starts everyday with a smile the size of the Golden Gate Bridge. She is three and a half. And supposedly, she's challenged.
She pets a stingray and laughs and giggles.
I look at a snake and I want to vomit.
Ummmmmmmm...who's the challenged one again? Seems my toddler could teach me a thing or two about facing "challenges" head on.