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We all have the gift of courage, has your child taken advantage of this gift?
As a family almost every Saturday we go on hikes. My kids love it and we enjoy getting everyone outdoors and exercising. We see lots of creatures and with kids you know that a short hike can take hours cause they want to pick up every rock or look at every bug.
My son loves bugs! He tries to encourage me that they are not icky and that they have a purpose. He is so incredible when it comes to nature that when I look back at pictures it seems like he is where he belongs.
Two weeks ago we went on a hiking as we usually do. The hike in was about thirty minutes on a good pace and the kids were having fun exploring. All of the sudden my son ran to me. "Mom, Mom, get it off of me" I didn't know what he had, then I saw a yellow jacket wasp. I told him to remain calm and then it happened. As I was trying to flick it off it stung him. He screamed and I panicked not knowing if he was allergic to bees/wasp. I grabbed my stuff and said we have to go back to the car. Remember now the hike is thirty minutes out. As we were walking away my son was shaking. He stops and says to me "Get it off of me, get it off of me!" I didn't see it on him so I thought that he was just scared. Then he told me "It's in my ear". It really freaked me out seeing it there. I couldn't get it out of his ear and called my husband over and luckily when he was trying to get it out the wasp flew out.
Panic sets in on him and I try to comfort him. Telling him to breath and that we are going back to the car. As my son and I walked he cried. I would ask him for details to get him to keep walking and focused on the scientific point of bees and wasps.
At one point we had to cross a small stream and there were a couple of bees near by. My son shook his head. I held him close to me and told him he could do it, that he had to do it to get back to the car.
He held my hand tightly as he walked carefully and quickly across the stream trying not to look at the bees. We made it! Then we started talking about the difference between bees and wasps and by this time my husband had caught up with my toddler in tow. The end of the hike was steep and yet my son didn't give up he was determined. I was the one asking him to take breaks. He would say to me, "Mom remember we are on a mission!" My mind eased as time went by because there was no reaction. Even he seemed to relax a little.
On the way home we talked about his courage to keep going. My son didn't understand what courage was so I explained "Courage is born in difficult times, courage is to see yourself in a way either mentally or physically through a tough situation. The beauty here is that you didn't give up and that you kept going."
Well he didn't really understand cause I do tend to go on and on. So I had to find something that he could relate to.
Then on TV later that evening as we were relaxing the commercial for Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue came on. That is when I had my AHA! moment. So I used the movie to explain how Dusty and his friends used courage to fight the fire and help save the National Park. We took out the coloring book I had purchased at Walmart and showed how scared they looked fighting the fire, but didn't give up. I told him that I hope he doesn't loose the love of nature and exploring. That he has learned to use his gift of courage to continue on new adventures and learn.
For me still to this day I remember seeing the wasp in his ear which gets me freaked out about exploring and running into another wasp/bee. I hope that I would find the courage to let my kids explore without hesitation.