So I went to the cah-razy synagogue book signing last night (unfortch, no drunken table dancing), which was really lovely. The author was inspirational and funny and smart. While she was reading the introduction to her book, I realized that I kept shoving my work bag around with my feet, and kind of pinned it between my legs for a little while, you know, so some crazy non-fiction chick-lit book lover didn’t gank my work bag (which is filled with about 40 highlighters, an old pacifier, and a wallet with four pounds worth of change in it) and then make her way up the balcony stairs and down through the crowded synagogue, laughing maniacally and leaving a trail of post-it flags and old receipts behind her.
And then I remembered my own mom’s obsession with someone stealing her purse. As far as I know, no one ever actually stole her purse (maybe because of her vigilance), but for as long as I can remember, she always had a death grip on it when we were out in public. And now here I am, straddling my work bag at a book reading.
Totally random, but it just got me thinking about fears and how we pass them down to our kids. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because both of my kids are fairly cautious — both were very timid walkers, they aren’t crazy about strangers or new things, and my preschooler still “scooches” on his butt down the stairs (so he doesn’t “bite it,” in his words). And then I think about my own life, and how I’ve taken a very safe path to get to my boring, I mean, very important lawyer job. Where my job is to tell people how to minimize their risk.
So I want to encourage my kids to be bold, to do things that challenge them, that surprise them. And I figure the best way to do that is to do it myself. Which really goes against just about everything in my nature, but actually feels pretty good. Writing like this is a risk for me, and I like it.
But I’m still not getting over my fear of opossums. They can suck it.