Monsters are always scarier when they are unnamed, unknown, hidden in the shadows. But what happens when you can call them by name?
It took us a lot of months to find out who our monster is and what is its name. When we finally did, we were devastated thinking of how this monster will affect our baby, of how many opportunities he will miss, of how much of life he will miss.
That’s the thing about monsters you see, they are scary…But the more you fear, the more you question your decisions, the more paralyzed you get by it, the less you do about it. Fear holds you back and eats at you slowly and deadly.
All of those dreadful scenarios we imagined, all of those things going from bad to worse, all the missed opportunities of life, they all have a probability of happening and I accept that. But I refuse to help the odds of these scenarios by fearing them and by somehow making them self fulfilling.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we have a shot of defeating this monster. It would be delusional to rely on miracles but now I don’t fear it anymore and I can go the extra mile.
Sun Tsu once said that a conquering army should always leave their opponents a way to retreat. That way when put to choose between fighting to the death or saving their lives, they will choose their lives. Otherwise, they will have nothing to lose and fight with devastating force and determination.
The one who taught me this life lesson is the best and the most surprising teacher I have ever had, my son.
Last week I let him roam around the balcony on his walker. He is active but obviously nothing like the kids his age so I didn’t really take any precautions to hide or lift things from his way. I had just finished cleaning the balcony so the chairs were still on the table. The thought of what could happen didn’t even have time to form in my mind because I heard a scream followed by a cry and I saw him literally running away from the table.
I ran to him and found him with a mouth full of blood and crying with sobs. Thankfully he had no chipped teeth and no bruises. Just a major scare and a split lip. He apparently reached for the chair that I left, unsuspectingly, on top of the table and dragged it down on top of his walker.
After I calm him down I started shaking uncontrollably, thinking of what could have happened and, like in an absurd theater play, crying with joy for his achievement.
It was then that I realized how low my expectation of him were and how these expectations mirrored not his potential but my fears.
If he has the courage to challenge the odds who am I to hold him back?