My earliest memories of irrational fear was when I was a pre-schooler. My mom used to be terrified of cats and she will scream, cling onto my dad, jump onto a chair whenever a feline was within sight. Without understanding why there was the need to be afraid, I learnt to emulate that fear. That fear of cats did not ease till my aunt brought her dog to my place to visit when I was about 5. That was the turning point when I started to like pets and got my first dog when I was 7 years old.
Dh and I have came to realised that K learns fear by observing how we act or react. We have been extremely conscious of our behaviour, especially when we come face to face with some of our phobias. Specifically, for dh and I, we similarly have a certain level of Herpetophobia, i.e., fear of reptiles. I am extremely freaked out by lizards as I had countless bad experiences with them; lizards have dropped on me a couple of times and I have stepped on at least 3 lizards in my life. Eeew...I get goosebumps just thinking about those tragic lizards that were crashed by my feet.
So now, I tried not to show any sort of emotion when I see any lizards (which is painfully difficult). The last time we saw a bunch of lizards, dh gritted his teeth and went, 'Look K, so many lizards.." and then chickened out when he spotted a couple of big ones on the wall.
So kudos to dh today, for overcoming his fear of reptiles and taking this pic holding a snake. Due to dh's bravery, K was encouraged to touch the snake as well :)
Dh then threw me a challenge to take a picture K and a lizard perched on my shoulder. No way, call me whatever you want, this will not happen in a million years...
In retrospect, the knowledge of fear in moderation is not at all a bad thing for a child. Although I don't even want for K to live in fear, he still needs to learn that our world, despite it being God's beautiful creation, has its good and bad. A child may be naturally fearful of some things, however they need to be taught to be fearful of certain other things to be sensible about their actions. This is the paradox of life as we know it.
I have been experiencing many more fears ever since I have become a parent. I worry about every single thing about K; whether he sleeps/eat/rest/developing well etc. I will learn to take things in stride and take it one day at a time. Afterall, there will be more good days and some bad days.
"The source of anxiety lies in the future. If you can keep the future out of mind, you can forget your worries."
~ Milan Kundera