When my children were young I used to occasionally enjoy frightening them.

They didn’t like it, but they laughed because deep down they knew that I was being silly.

Whilst on holiday, I was reminded of my past scaremongering by the sight of a young Spanish boy (aged about 5) being frightened in the sea by his father (I presume) saying “Medusa, Medusa” and then laughing whilst the little boy also laughed but recoiled into his mothers arms.

The scene was one of joy.

As I waded about in the sea I thought about the times I had placed my palm vertical to the sea and wiggled it towards my children saying “sea-snakes”

They would scream and laugh and run into my arms.

“Stop it Daddy” they would cry.

My memory was one of joy.

So why then, frighten the children. Certainly not to hurt them. I can’t recall trying to make a point of hardening them to danger through this play, but perhaps deep down I was doing.

I know I enjoyed making them laugh, connecting them with me, and letting them see that I could be silly and childish myself.

If they ran into my arms and hugged me tight, perhaps that was my reward.

I have been pondering over this whole aspect of our development when we begin to see the world has its hidden dangers as well as the ones which are clearly obvious to us e.g. busy roads etc.

This concept of enjoying life, but being aware of potential pitfalls and obstacles under the surface, and learning to understand them, and as far as practical prepare for them.

In my life, for too long, the sense of danger and potential pitfalls and obstacles became the main focus, so that the opportunity to thrive and take risks and live openly and without fear was denied to me by my own intellect.

Thankfully, like a child, I can once again squeal at the risks, shrug my shoulders and continue to splash in the sea – “sea-snakes!”

My next blog will be: Waves Draw On Energy From What Has Been

William Defoe

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