Fear is a crazy thing. Really. It holds us back from doing great things. Sometimes it holds us back from being truly happy.
I felt a warm feeling inside my chest as I watched Caleb (my 6th grader) walk into school yesterday. I'll tell you why. His Valentine's dance was yesterday. He had been thinking about wearing something different than just his normal suit. On Saturday he and I went shopping to find him some clothes. By the way, this is not something that I would probably normally do. I am more frugal/practical/cheap than that. But I felt like this was a pretty big deal. A while ago it hit me that I only had 6 years left with him at home. It made me a little sick to be honest. We had talked about him wearing a tie or a bow tie, and suspenders. When our shopping trip was over we ended up with what you see pictured. His favorite color right now is purple. He had been talking to his friend about wearing something like him also. I tell you. I loved that he was blazing his own trail. I loved that he was not letting fear get in the way of trying something different. You and I remember what it was like being in 6th grade. Peers matter.
As I drove him to school yesterday morning he said his friend had left at about the same time. His friend picked out something similar to Caleb. He was hoping his friend would be there to walk in with him. He felt a bit nervous, and to be honest I did too. Part of me wanted his friend there to be with him. But he wasn't, and honestly I'm glad he wasn't, because Caleb could do it. Caleb could put off fear. Fear of what his friends would think of him. Fear of being different. As he got out of the car, I don't remember his exact words, but it was something like "Here it goes". I watched him walk in and I was proud. I know pride is normally a bad thing, but the pride I felt was good.
What fear do I need to face? What fear do I need to overcome? When we become adults our fears are the same as children, just in a little bit different light. Think about it. Do we fear what people think of us? What has this fear kept us from? Trying new things? Being our true self?