Ever Been Really Scared?
If you look back to the times when you were really scared, have you noticed that as a child it would usually involve a parent, and as you get older it involves different types of scenarios?
When I talk about being afraid, I'm not talking about Halloween spooks and such. I'm thinking in terms of situations.
My first situation involved a bike and I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. I had received a new used bike and our road had recently been blacktopped. Our house was on a hill, which ran down to the newly blacktopped road. One day I simply zipped down the yard and onto the road only to find a car coming at the same time. For a while I was riding alongside the car and I was close enough that I could have reached out and touched the car's mirror. I could have been killed. It wasn't like me to not look, but this one time I hadn't. Now what made me think that I should tell my parents about my error I don't know. Anyway it took a couple days to work up the nerve to tell my mother that I had almost been killed. Nothing came of it, but when one is young small things can make one afraid.
Another time comes to mind and it involves a small groundhog. I knew there were critters in our shed. One day this little groundhog comes flying out of the shed and right at me. I panic and grab a rock and nail it right on the head and kill it. That little bugger was mad about something. What I remember most is that the odds of me throwing anything and hitting at anything I aimed at was almost nil. Yet, one throw and right on the mark. Perhaps divine providence?
As an adult I'm working at my first radio station. I was cutting a commercial for a grocery store but the copy writer hadn't done a very good job, leaving out some prices. I'm recording away and saying "other specials at the IGA store include buns, buns, buns for what? How much are the stupid buns? Where's the price?" I went to the copywriter and got the price and thought I had redone the ad. It would be hard to duplicate but I somehow failed to erase the tape, then I failed to put the machine in record when I redid the ad and then I failed to listen back. So there's the ad in the noon news. "Other specials at the IGA store include buns, buns, buns for what? How much are the stupid buns? Where's the price?" If was a horrible feeling and I thought this is it, I'm going to get fired. Surprise, it turns out that to this day I still haven't heard more comments on an ad than that one. People were laughing and telling me how much they enjoyed my screwed up commercial. Whew, a close one.
The final scary moment comes later and this time the fear is for a loved one, it's my little daughter Hannah who was maybe 2 years old at the time. We had watched a movie a while back and it was one that had animals in it. It was so long ago I can't remember what it was. Anyway the two of us were going on a walk when Hannah says "Daddy, coon." I thought nothing of it and thought she was just repeating some words she had heard in the movie. When she says it a second time I looked back and there it was. A raccoon in broad daylight staggering behind us. My first thought is rabies. I grab her and run into the machine shed and shut the door. Now the fear begins. I can't leave a 2-year-old alone in a shed with all kinds of things that could hurt her. So making a dash alone to the house to call someone with a gun is out. I can't risk running to the house carrying a 2-year-old. Well we had this old mangy dog Bear. I have no idea why, but I had discovered that when I sniffed real loud and said her name, she would get all excited and think there was trouble. OK, what have I got to lose? I call Bear through the window and when she arrives I begin to sniff real loud. Yes, this sounds crazy doesn't it? It's true though. Bear rips into that coon and kills it. Hannah and I still bring up the time Old Bear saved our lives from the rabid coon.
The things we fear certainly do change as we age don't they?