My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader, and encouraged me to give every endeavor all of my energy and ability. She is also a typical mother, and worries about my safety, particularly when I travel. She was so concerned when I went to Hungary alone last year that she worked herself up into a fuss, almost begging me not to go. I later discovered that she was concerned that I would fall in love with the country so much that I wouldn’t want to return to California. Though I loved Hungary, and would love to visit again, I have zero desire to live there, so my mom has nothing to worry about. It’s funny how my mom will suddenly become anxious when I tell her I have a trip coming up, so I figured the same anxiety would kick in if I took part in a daring activity.
This year, I took two flying trapeze classes, and loved them so much that I plan to take a class each month to satisfy my desire to learn as much as I can about the art of trapeze. I told my mom about the first class I took with some hesitation, because I thought she would scold me for doing something she might perceive as dangerous. We were at lunch, and while we were waiting for our food to arrive, I showed my mom video footage of me up on the trapeze, doing a knee hang, then dismount. I waited for her to berate me, but instead she calmly watched the video and said, “Good for you, I’m impressed.” I asked her if she was okay with the fact that her 49 year old daughter swung from a fly bar (the pole the flyer uses to swing from and do tricks). Her response was, “You’ve always been fearless. I’ve never worried about you being afraid of doing daring things.”
I was so surprised, because I thought my mom was under the impression that I shied away from daring activities. As we talked more, I realized that my mom admired my willingness to engage in activities which forced me to deal with heights. In addition, my mom revealed her own fear of heights, something I never realized until that moment. She said, “Why do you think I had other people take you on the roller coasters when you were a kid? Why do you think I had someone else take you up on the giant carpet slide?”
My mom had a fear of heights all this time, yet I never knew that until two months ago!