Fear. Great big, elephant sized fear.Last night we took Aidan to the county fair in Xenia. I had NEVER been to a county fair before. I was a pretty spoiled child, but that's one thing I can't remember ever doing. I was so very excited. All I knew about a fair was that they have fried foods, rides and livestock. My little boy is nuts-o over farm animals, most especially cows and goats. My dad is a carnie, he has a booth and sells home made pork rinds and chicken and noodles (great combo, huh?) at nearly every fair/festival in the area, so I knew he would be there, too. So, we got there and first thing I had to find a bathroom and sneak in without Aidan seeing, or he would have wanted to go too. I love that he's showing so much interest in the potty training, but I was about to bust, and would have peed my pants if I had needed to take him with me that trip!!! So, after that little pit stop, we found Dad's booth, and went to different vendors and got our supper. I'm one of those terrible Mommies who is trying to make memories for my kid, and chose to have our dinner at the fair. I did redeem myself a little by making him drink apple juice instead of lemonade or pop. After we ate we went exploring. First place we went was the livestock barns. First was poultry. Everything with feathers was a duck last night. Aidan quacked at chickens, turkeys, and whatever other birds were there. Next barn was pigs. He didn't care a bit about the pigs, which shocked me. But, I guess he was just warming up for the next few barns... we got to the cows next. Oh, Holy Cow! He was thrilled out of his mind! My little boy mooed and mooed. He'd say "awww, cute moo!" Those cows were BIG!!! And smelly! The next barn was my favorite, and I believe his, too... Goats, sheep and Llamas/alpacas. With a "baa-baa here and a maa-maa there" we made our way up and down every aisle in that building. The goats were totally used to being handled by people, even little people, and they'd come right up to the fencing and let my baby pet them. He touched one sheep, the rest shied away. I didn't let him get very close to the llamas and alpacas, though. It was at that point that the fear took hold of me, the whole "when animals go bad" thing running through my mind. That'd be a common thread throughout the rest of the evening.
We spent probably an hour in the livestock barns, and of that hour, probably 45 minutes were with the goats and sheep. My son absolutely loved it. None of us were that enthralled with the bunny exhibits, though. I guess he loves the bigger animals more.
We made our way down the midway, past the games, every game with caller trying to sell his game. One lady told us that the little kids win a prize no matter what so we paid the $5 and let him throw 3 softballs at plates. The lady was so tickled by his giggle that she kept handing him balls. I bet he threw about fifty balls! He ended up winning a little rottweiler toy. Since he doesn't already have 437 stuffed animals here! He slept with it, and the dolphin my dad won him, last night.
We walked on around, and there was a bigtop set up! When we got to it, there was a woman with about 10 dogs doing tricks. That was pretty cool. Once it was over and the dogs were put up, she said for all the kids to come up to the fence. Larry told me to take Aidan up there. We got up there, and found out that they were going to bring an elephant around for the kids to pet. Hello. Pet an elephant. How cool for a kid! How panic-inducing for a baby-loss Momma. Before they brought her out, they told all about her. I stopped listening after the part about her being 43 years old and 8,000 pounds. Again, "When animals attack" went through my head. I somehow reached down and pulled up my big-girl panties and stood there with my baby, my pride and joy, my only reason for living, and let him pet the elephant. I'll admit it, I gave in and petted her, too. Pretty cool experience, and no one took a picture!
After the petting the elephant thing, they did sort of a mini-circus. They had dancing camels and ponies, that did an act together. It was cute. Then they brought out 2 elephants and put them through a routine. It was amazing to watch them "dance" in sync, and in beat to the music (Especially when I can't even clap my hands to the beat!) but, again, I was nearly overcome with fear for my child's safety. Is that even logical?
I don't remember always being such a chicken-shit. In fact, I was ALWAYS the one that was game for anything. Heck, I was well known at a certain honkey-tonk for the amount of time I was able to stay on the mechanical bull. I don't know if it was becoming Aidan's mommy that has put this fear into me, or if it was losing Landon. Aidan was only 13 months old when Landon died, and he wasn't big enough to do scary things then, so I don't know if I would have felt that panic if I hadn't already experienced the loss of one child. I'm desperate to hold onto Aidan and keep him safe from all harm.
So, I analyzed myself. Yes, I'm afraid to let him do some things. But, these are things that all kids do at some point, and I absolutely know that I can't let my fear of what "could happen" keep us from enjoying life. If we lived in fear of everything bad that could happen, who would ever even leave their house?
I will even go so far as to compare my fear of what could have gone wrong with the elephants to my fear of being pregnant again. Yes, I'm TTC. But, I'm also absolutely terrified. Scared shitless, actually. The thought of another loss is like that 8,000 pound elephant in my womb.... So, from that line of thought, I moved on to "What scares me more, another possible loss, or never trying again, never even giving myself the chance to maybe bring home another healthy baby?" And my honest response is, the thought of never trying again is the scariest option to me.
Now, here I am, nearly a year later (that was written on August 3, 2010) and I can't believe how far I've come since then! I'll start off with the very last paragraph, about my fears regarding TTC (trying to conceive). Well, ahem... I honestly believe that one of the babies was conceived that very night. I have no concrete proof, but I think they were conceived 2 different nights, and that one was the first of the 2. (now I'm blushing) And, I will tell you, I felt that elephant in my womb fear, the entire time I was pregnant. I'm so grateful that my pregnancy went so well and that my babies are so perfect and healthy. Most of all, though, I'm thankful that I found the strength and courage to try again, even with no definite answers as to WHY Landon's placenta died.
We are taking Aidan to the Greene County fair again tonight! I hope it's as much fun as it was last year!! He's 3 now, and is so much fun to do things with. Last year, he wouldn't ride the little kiddie rides because I couldn't be right there with him. This year he is the first one to jump on.
We took him to the Butler County fair on Thursday, and it was amazing. My heart is still full from the joy of doing something with him that he loved so much. Aidan is into firetrucks and firemen. That's his "thing" right now. One of the rides was a car ride, going in a circle. One of the cars was a firetruck. He was SO excited! We had to pry him off of it. He loved all of the rides. I, as a paranoid freak of a mom, did great letting him ride. I did have some panicked thoughts about "What if...." but I didn't hold him back.
I've always loved amusement park rides, everything from the tilt a whirl to the wildest roller coaster. I've been pregnant for nearly 4 years straight, so it had been a while since I had ridden anything. I rode all the spinny rides with him, and he LOVED THEM! Thank goodness! My brother was/is a puker, and he'd puke on me every time. But yet Mom and Dad would STILL make me ride things with him!
My biggest moment of fear from Thursday evening was on a ride that went in circles, but jerked like a roller coaster. I'm so big, and Aidan is so little, I couldn't get the safety bar down as far as I would have liked on him, but he did fine. I was so nervous the whole time, that I couldn't relax and enjoy it. But, I LET him ride it. That's HUGE for me. It really is.
I also let him have a live pony ride. Yep, I did. I walked right along beside him, holding his shirt JUST IN CASE, but I let him ride it, and didn't even hesitate. I am actually pretty proud of myself. I really don't want to hold him back from doing fun things because his brother died. I'm learning to let go again, and just enjoy. I hope that someday I can enjoy without the initial panic of "Oh, God, if I lose him too..."
I know that every parent has some fear, but I really think mine has been over the top since Landon, and I'm consciously working past it. My girls are still way too little for this to be an issue with them, and maybe by the time THEY want a pony ride, I'll have enough confidence to just let them, without analyzing myself.
We didn't take the girls to the fair, and we're not taking them tonight, either. First of all, they're too little to enjoy it. Secondly, it's HOT here right now. Like, 97* with a heat index somewhere similar to that in Hell. And last, but not least, people LOVE twins. And by LOVE, I mean stalk. It takes us at least 2 hours to walk through Costco or the Grocery Store, because everyone just *has* to stop and see the twins. Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVE hearing how beautiful they are, and the congratulations. And even the repetitive questions don't bother me. But. The fair is about Aidan right now, and there's no way he'd have a good time if we had to stop every few feet so random strangers could satisfy their curiosity. So, Thursday, my mom and Momaw stayed with them, and tonight Mom's friend Patty and Mom are going to keep them. They get to spoil the babies, the babies get tons of loving and stay cool, and Aidan has fun at the fair. It's a winner all the way around!!!
This is him in the firetruck, I couldn't time it right to get his face!
His first roller coaster, he's going to be a fan, just like Mommy!