No fear


Have you ever been really afraid of something? Totally terrified that this thing, this event, would be awful and painful and you just didn’t want to experience it… only to find that, when it happened, it wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought it would be?

When I was a nanny, I took the boys to the doctor for their yearly check-up. This particular year, the older boy was due for shots. At 6-years old, the prospect of having a needle shoved into your arm is about as appealing as driving a nail straight into your forehead – and so, understandably, this boy was upset.


This boy was inconsolable. Thrashing with terror. Not screaming, not wailing – shrieking out of absolute anxiety and alarm. No amount of words, wit, or bribery could calm him.

But he needed the shot. And the doctor was busy. So I had no choice but to wrap my entire body around this flailing little boy, and, gripping hard, to restrain him. Despite his maniacal shriek straight into my ear, the needle was in and out of his arm before he even knew it had happened.

And when we told him that it was over, his face relaxed, he stood up, and nonchalantly said, “That didn’t even hurt. Can we go get ice cream?”

A few months ago, I was really, really afraid of something. It stole my sleep, and caused a lot of tears, and kept me constantly on edge. I remember telling my mom, “I wish that it would just happen – that way, I wouldn’t need to be afraid of it anymore.”

Finally, it happened. And it was hard – for about a second. But then, the strangest thing occurred in my heart: I felt so much better, and moved forward. The thing that I was so afraid of was an obstacle, a hurdle, a hiccup in my journey. But once I was over it, the road became open and wide. And little by little, in the strangest ways, my prayer gets answered.

I think this calls for ice cream.



  1. wrecklessgirl on May 29, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    did i know you were a nanny as well? hmmmm

    point being.
    i am the screaming, flailing child. i am the one who knows what needs to be done and isn’t thrilled about it: leaving everything i own in a small town in oregon, heading to san francisco, then off to an unknown city/country not on this continent. in the words of someone else (they only seem my own because they are so dear to my heart):

    “it’s hard to write an interesting life story when your fingers keep typing the same four letters.”

    time and again i find my own will is to put myself in the doctor’s chair, knowing it will be best. but screaming my scaredtodeathheart out.

    i feel like i’m just rambling…but
    i needed to hear this!

  2. rachel rianne on May 29, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    you’re beautiful.

    and i didn’t get to see you last weekend.
    the one night i could’ve seen you, i think i remember hearing that you were … uhh bathing the boys?
    i understand.
    but someday, annie.
    we WILL see one another.
    and it WILL be grand.

  3. Lindsey on May 30, 2008 at 8:33 PM

    I read this article in the New York Times and I quote the first line ” I think that most people who maintain blogs are doing it for some of the same reasons I do: they like the idea that there’s a place where a record of their existance is kept- a house with an always open door where people who are looking for you can check on you, compare notes with you and tell you what they think of you. Sometimes that house is messy, sometimes horrifyingly so. In real life, we wouldn’t invite any passing stranger into these situations, but the remove of the internet makes it seem OK…. It’s easy to compare the initial thrill of evoking an immediate resopnse to a blog post to the rush of getting high. the metaphore is so exact, in fact, that maybe it isn’t a metaphor at all.

    I’m glad you have a blog annie…

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