In many of my childhood memories I am standing in our garden in Curacao looking up, seeing my sisters legs dangling from a tree or rooftop. Or standing on a pier, watching while my sister is sailing, surfing, swimming. I was afraid of so many things. I did not climb trees, I was terrified whenever I set foot on a sailboat and cried during swimming lessons. I remember a lot of feeling scared when I was little. And a lot of awe for my sisters bravery. So, imagine my astonishment when I realized that my daughter is super fearless.
The first time we took Isaya to the beach she practically ran into the ocean. She was not afraid of the waves or the cold: she thought it was amazing. Whenever we are at the petting zoo and huge, crazy looking turkeys and curious, sniffling goats come running towards her, she remains undaunted. She climbs on every slide, swing and playhouse. She jumps into the swimming pool. She laughs at barking dogs. She is one brave little toddler.
My sister and I used to volunteer at the animal shelter when we were little. She would go into all the dog kennels and pet, hug and feed them. I was terrified of dogs and spent my days with the little kittens on the other side of the shelter. I could argue my fear of dogs was understandable, because one of our own dogs had bitten me in the face. But this had happened to my sister too. Twice. And still she remained unafraid.
Even though I am a little braver now that I am older, I am still anxious about a lot of things. I already told you about the shark-thing. But I am also afraid of heights, of most animals and of terrible things happening to my baby. I hate using public transport (it makes me nervous), I would never bungee jump and I have no urge whatsoever to backpack through Southeast Asia or South America.
And I think I might have a child who will want to do all of these things…
Isaya is fearless. She is open, enthusiastic, eager, vigorous, passionate, dynamic, warm and keen. I LOVE that about her. Whenever we walk into a store, room or playground and she sees something she likes, she will laugh and cry out with joy. This usually turns all the heads in said store/room/playground and that fills my heart with joy. Because Isaya loves live and she reminds me everyday how beautiful and fun the world around us is. Not something we should fear every step of the way, but enjoy. She will scream from the top of her lungs and tell all the people, turkeys and goats they are amazing and should be happy to be alive. I hope she will never lose this ability to live and love so pure and carefree.
So, my baby not only teaches me about bravery. She also teaches me about loving life.