Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Fear

Back when Paul's sisters, Barb and Rosie, were both young and single, one of the many friends they made said that she was drawn to them because of their fearlessness. They just joyfully plunged in to life and adventures large and small--the sorts of things most of us over-think and hold back from and hesitate about.

My daughters have those genes as well. Granted, one of them has an odd phobia of making phone calls to places like the bank, one is afraid of moths, and one is afraid to go dump the compost after dark. But generally they just plow ahead through life with an abandon that I can only look on and envy.

They help people and go places and strike up conversations and share their faith. "Why not?" they say, and send applications and pick up lizards and learn to play instruments and offer to sing.

They will argue with this, since I'm not afraid to call up the bank. What they don't realize is how many fears I've had to overcome to learn to call places like banks and travel agents, or to navigate downtown Eugene, or to make small talk with store clerks.

Jenny certainly shares her sisters' and aunts' genes.

Our upstairs windows can be washed from the inside except for the outside of the upper pane. On three sides of the house, you can stand on the porch roof to wash that part. On the fourth side, it's a straight plunge down into the camellia bushes, and I usually get one of the boys to help me, with one of us leaning out awkwardly with a squeegee and the other hanging on to keep him from falling.

A few weeks ago Jenny decided to wash her bedroom windows. She hauled the spray and rags upstairs and before long brought them back down. "I'm all done!"

"I suppose you just left that top outside window on the north side?
"No. I did it myself."

She glibly explained that she had opened the window, wiggled out, stood on the windowsill, held onto the center sash, and merrily washed.

Utterly fearless, that child.

And recently she had her cousin Allie over and they went over to play at the warehouse. After they came home, Jenny told me they had climbed up to the top of the warehouse to look out the window.

That window is some 90 feet off the ground. Getting there involves going up stairways and ladders that get steeper and narrower and dangerous-er as we go. At the end you have to walk or crawl along some boards that, Jenny said, they had to dust off so they wouldn't slip and fall down to the floor below.

But they got to the window, and had fun looking out on the world far below.

Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't get the bright idea to try and wash that window on the outside.


  1. Sister Dorcas, you are soooo funny!! I love to read your writings! It is always a treat to follow your blog! keep writing!!

  2. It's very entertaining to read about your children's exploits. However, I have quite a few fears of my own to overcome if I'm to imagine my own children doing such things!! How do you stay calm as a mother?!
    Sarah, mom of 2 boys and 2 girls, oldest 6

  3. Sarah--After 25 years you still freak out, just not as much or as often.

  4. It's easier not to freak out if they don't tell you untill they are all done!


  5. I was one of those fearless children, but found out as a mother it was harder to see my children doing it!