Fear is a strange sensation that comes in many forms. It can be a unifying bond between us, as you look to me for comfort and protection. You are usually the root cause of my fear, whilst your fears come and go; change and return without good reason.
There are times when you have no fear at all – like when you run to the top of a flight of stairs, or tap dance on tables. Then there are times when Hooch runs towards you and you cower, expecting her to knock you over – only looking out from behind your hands when she has long since passed. On the very next pass you will throw your arms out to catch her – almost as if you have forgotten the previous five minutes; or is it because you are confident that nothing will happen?
You shy away from new – people, places, situations – is that fear, or is it because you are not as open as you could be? If it is the latter, then you really are your father’s daughter.
There are still many things you have yet to experience a positive or negative outcome from – and, given half a chance, you will run out the front door and in to the middle of the road without consideration for what might happen.
You climb, you love to climb – on tables, chairs, on your high chair – there is absolutely no fear as you leap and clamber, with what looks like a tentative grip at all times. This is where my fear kicks in – fear you will fall, fear you will hurt yourself; fear you will lose that free spirited nature of yours should you crash back down to earth.
You attack our cupboards, washing machine and fridge – anything heavy that might close sharply on you without good notice. Rooting around; putting your hands in to tight, darkened places without a care for what might be there – like a dog’s mouth; lucky then that I’m the only one of the family that Hooch is rough with.
There will be a time where everything you currently fear, will no longer prove to be of harm to you. It’s simply down to your size – and how big the world currently looks. The more you grow, the steadier you become on your feet – the less there is to fear; until you become a parent that is.
For my fears are, in the main, currently linked to wanting to be the best father I can be to you.
The true fear there is that I fail in my task.
I fear there may be a time when I’m not there for you when you need me; not there for the whole family when I need to protect you. I fear being utterly helpless when you are not well and unable to communicate what ails you – to watch you cry, to not know how to help – crushes me in a way I’d not experienced before you.
I fear I may become far too over protective. Not letting you roam or explore your surrounding environment – boys, drink, nightlife, clothes – in the hope that you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Trying to keep you as a young child, my precious daughter, rather than letting you become a girl, then a woman – with your own ideas and agendas.
I fear I will let you down by not giving you the right guidance, not being involved in the aspects of your life that will become to mean so much to you. Or no doubt worse still, be the sort of father that is constantly involved in your life; always trying to get you to do things, pushing you on – not letting you just be the person you want to be. I don’t mean living my life vicariously through you, just wanting you to do something with your life. Something you will be proud to look back upon.
I fear I may expect too much from my bright, wondrous star.
My biggest fear is that there will be times when you are unhappy and there will be nothing I can do to change the way you feel. Even the thought tears me up inside.
Most of my fears are misplaced, irrational and unlikely to pan out. Hooch may knock you over, you may fall off of a table or you may not like a new school – but you will come through it all. I may sit up all night when you first go out. I may be wary when you first bring a boy home, or stay out overnight with people I don’t really know – but that doesn’t mean that I have to permanently live in fear that something will happen to you.
We both get jumpy, we both have times when fear takes a grip – yet we both know we are only a cuddle away from the fear passing; from our happiness returning.
Forget Everything And Remember… that I will always be there for you.
Lyrics: Ian Brown – F.E.A.R.
Image: The Scream by Edvard Munch