Inheritance of fear
I watch my four-year-old son spring from rock to boulder — a little mountain goat — giggling with pleasure.
“Don’t fall!” I call, my motherliness rising like bile in my throat.
He doesn’t hear, and keeps climbing — surefooted, confident.
I hope he never hears my anxiety.
I so love the last line.
Thank you! I *think* I was successful with one kid… maybe not so much the other kid.
So relatable, especially that last line. Love the use of a mountain goat, really clever!
Thank you. I feel like this is a moment most parents go through.
This is every mom’s fear.
It does feel universal, doesn’t it? I remember reading a book when my kids were small that said specifically NOT to say “don’t fall” to kids because it plants the seed of that action in their heads. Instead, the book suggested you say something like “I really like the way you’re holding tight” or “I love how you look before you jump to the next safe spot” — it encourages that thinking and reinforces the behaviour apparently. I changed how I responded to my children based on that.
You really captured the anxiety and hope of motherhood. Very nice!
Thanks so much, Kim.
I can so relate to this, Asha! The mountain goat metaphor is genius!
Thank you, thank you! As I said to Kalpana, I changed how I responded to my kids doing some hair-raising activity, and it seems to have worked? One’s made it to adulthood, the other’s about to… I’m taking that as signs of success.
I liked the description of “my motherliness rising like bile” – it paints a very vivid picture
I’m glad that worked. There’s a sense of overly-protective, cloying that can accompany over-mothering/helicopter parenting that I wanted to convey.
This is so powerful and so real. An excellent interpretation of the prompts.
Thank you so much! The prompts were so perfectly in my sweet spot.
I love how you were able to add so much depth and tension to the characters’ relationship in such a short piece and simple moment. Very true to life!
Thank you! That’s such a generous reading.
A mother’s anxiety is so powerful. I love the mix of the two ends of the scale here.
I am entirely comprised of anxiety, D-L! Entirely.
Right there with you Asha x
I think every parent can relate to this. My mother’s call was “Three points of contact!” 😀
Oh I love that, Tara! Like a safety harness. And you’re right, it’s a universal parent thing — I still do this with the dog (who is the only “baby” left in my house).