Laying under a blanket tent with my grandson, reacting to a book designed to ignite our imagination, we dreamed up stories. Page after page, we played along.
“What if we were bigger than the tallest building?”
“What if we could get as small as a mouse?”
What would we do? How would we like it?. Then a page prompt was:
“What if you could have anything? What would you wish for?”
And this 6 year old boy says, “I’d wish that no one ever had to die.”
I kept my eyes on the page of the book. I didn’t what him to see my reaction to his innocent words. He’s 6 years old! Shouldn’t he have wished for all the LEGO sets in the world or maybe being able to read without working so hard at it?
No. He’s already thinking about that number one wish we all carry around with us when we are old enough to understand that death is part of life. To my knowledge, he has yet to experience a funeral or even a terminally ill person. So, how is it that he is carrying this burden already?
It’s that unexplainable gut feeling – FEAR!
For this little boy, the idea of losing a hockey game is traumatic! It never dawned on me that he may be carrying around a whole host of fears.
Wishes and Fears
The past three months, in our family, have been filled with dreams and wishes: Santa Claus lists, and birthday candles. It’s a magical few months for us. And for the children, we want them to believe that wishes really do come true.
But at some point, in our lives, the magic of wishes dissolves into an acceptance of reality. Not all wishes do come true. Is it that realization that leads to FEAR? Or is it the opposite? What if I never have the chance? “What if I never” replaces “I’m want to have”.
My grandson sat along a gym wall, recently, afraid of not being the best at a game he had never played. His understanding of not being the best was paralyzing him. FEAR is grabbing a hold.
When do wishes become fears? When we let them. What he doesn’t understand is that he is letting fear decide that he’s not good enough to be allowed that wish.
As we go through life, we are given multiple opportunities to experience something new. Our wishes evolve as we grow but the reality is that every time I am faced with a new challenge, I become like my grandson. I sit along the wall watching others be their best, believing that I can not compete. And what have I done? I have maybe let a WISH die.
“I wish no one ever had to die.”
It’s days later, but I think if I had the chance to respond to my grandson’s wish, I would say something like this:
Dying happens every time we let FEAR stop us from living. We’ve been given a life. And this life is filled with wishes and dreams. It’s up to us to go after them. Day by day, we are given choices. We need to live each day and…
We will live
and live some more
every time we show FEAR the door.