Chris R. Parish


How Our Children Teach Us How Not to be Afraid?

When I was a kid I got myself caught up with a bunch of red wasps. It wasn’t a pleasant experience and I hope it never happens to me again or to anyone for that matter. You never know how your day will turn out even if you are having the best day of your life. It’s funny how things turn out. How you can go from being fearless to afraid to fearless again.


You see, one day when I was a boy about 12 years old or so, I got attacked by a gang.

It was a beautiful sunny day, sweat flowing through every pore on my body, I could taste the salty liquid as it washed the dead skin from my forehead to my chin.

This gang who attacked me was not human and they were only protecting their territory and I just so happened to be the alien invader. I was playing around in a field which was next to our house. The weeds tall and green and reaching for the sun. I was wearing my favorite red shorts and a red tank top (muscle shirt as I like to call it). There I was playing around enjoying my day. In this field, you would find random items people have dumped over the years. I was determined to build a clubhouse with a lot of the material and I found one item I figured I could use – a mattress. I went to pick the mattress up and after I lifted one side just a couple feet off the ground, I was attacked. It felt like I was being poked by a bunch of needles on my left thigh. Attacking me were a billion red wasps. They flew right up my shorts and starting stinging the shit out of me. It may not have been a billion but if felt that way at the time. It was probably around 10, maybe more or less, I don’t really know for sure and I wasn’t staying around to count them. It wasn’t pleasant and I did all the screaming a 12-year-old could do. I’ve never been stung before, that was my first about 10 times in a row. Not Fun I Tell Ya!


After I was attacked I ran into my house to where my mother was freaking out as I was screaming. I finally got out of my screaming mouth that I was stung by wasps. She led me to the bathroom and turned on the bathtub water for me to get in. I jumped right in because who knows better than your mother? Who taught her what to do in a situation where your kid comes screaming bloody murder? Was it us as kids? Let’s see.

How our children teach us how not to be afraid?

Because of the wasp attack I had as a kid, I was terrified of all wasps and bees alike. I wouldn’t go near them and would walk the other way once I saw even just one hanging around somewhere. It mortified me sometimes because my wife would have to protect me. I laugh now but then, no, no. I wouldn’t dare go around them evil little devils. Then one day, again, another hot beautiful sunny day, I was in the pool with my daughter who was probably a year old at the time. While in the pool a couple bumble bees came buzzing around us. I, my first reaction, out of fear from childhood, was to go the opposite direction. Doing so I left my daughter out in the open. My wife then said, “you’re just going to leave your daughter?” I don’t know what happened at the moment but, I grabbed my daughter and pulled her toward me, smacked away the bumble bees and haven’t feared those sons-of-bitches since. That’s how your children teach you how not to be afraid because you have to be strong and protect them from their fears. That’s why my mother was able to assess the situation when I came screaming bloody murder. We as children teach our parents how not to be afraid because they have to be strong so that we feel safe.

About Chris Parish

I'm a father, husband and writer. Subscribe to learn more about me.