9 years ago, I spawned a fearless kid. A wild little thing that would jump down a flight of stairs......run to you at full speed to give hugs and knock you over (when she was 2!).......jump off 20 foot rocks into a lake and pose for a photo as she was falling (when she was 4). Fearless.
She's also a bull in a china shop. And she bores easily. So if you take her shopping, you'd better have snacks and electronics. If she sees a ball, you better believe there will be no 'what happens if I do this' thinking. Something in her just instinctively goes and kicks it......as hard as she can........no matter how closed in the space might be.
I also have never met a person, old or young, with the tolerance for pain that this kid has. She was never without a bruise, a cut, a black eye, a bloody lip. The big joke in our house is that she could cut off her leg accidentally (bull in a china shop....remember?) and then drag herself and her bloody stump outside saying, 'It's meerly a flesh would.....I'm off to go swimming!'
Physically....this kid scared me to death. Always into something.
Molly got sick, as many of you know, and no doctor could help us figure things out. She had severe tummy aches every day. She threw up without warning. She missed school or I would have to pick her up mid-day. She laid in bed......and cried......a lot.
We took her off gluten and dairy to no avail. Had allergy tests galore and was finally told she needed to be put under for a scope......which scared me ever more. We were all scared. Really, really scared.
But then.....we figured it out. GMO corn products were making my sweet little gal seriously ill. We took them out of her diet......she got better. Yes!! End of problem, right?
This kiddo can handle ANYTHING......except being sick. All of a sudden, even though she was now better, being sick for nearly a year made her afraid of absolutely everything. She developed fears of fire, water, germs, viruses, bad dreams......you name it. Everything was an enemy to her and something detrimental was always lurking right around the corner. She scrutinized every piece of food that when into her mouth for fear she would get sick again. She begged not to play sports because she was afraid she'd get hurt......because any form of hurt, she assumed, would make her physically sick again.
Who was this fear-filled kid?? She was not the do-or- die kid I spawned. Her new fears made me angry.....not at her......at what it was that had changed her. Grrrrrr.......
As much as this 'bull in a china shop' kid used to drive me nuts with her fearlessness and reckless behavior.......this child that Molly had become was not the person she truly was. It was not who she was going to be able to stay and still be happy in life. It simply was not my child.
So......we stepped in. I taught her to read food labels so she wouldn't be in the dark about what to eat and what not to eat. And, I watched as she took charge of her food issue. And then I watched as she experimented with foods to see how her body reacted and how, when she decided she's had too much 'junk food', she'd refuse anything else that might be bad for her tummy. She was in no way going to let herself get sick again.
Kevin signed her up for soccer and made her do it. And, we watched as she ran slowly, slowly, slowly for the ball......constantly asked the coach to pull her out or let her play goalie.......and then become the kid who ran over other kids to get to the ball (although she always stopped to help them up) and even scored in most games she played in. I heard a man behind me once comment to his wife, 'I love to watch that kid when she gets the ball'. Me too!!!!
Slowly, slowly, slowly......she got closer to the fearless little bull in a china shop we all know and love. She started taking risks again. She started running as fast as she could without being afraid she would fall. She would even try bites of food that perhaps she shouldn't indulge in......but knew one little taste wouldn't hurt.
I'm so proud of that little rat. My spunky, happy, crazy, fearless, do-or-die kid. Who just happened to break her arm during soccer camp.......and insisted on finishing out the camp!
Got my girl back.