Little kids love animals. They are so intrigued by fuzzy caterpillars, real-life teddy bears and everything in between. They share a connection with creatures. Unfortunately, at some point, some of us learn to fear animals…beyond our survival instinct. That was me. I didn’t come close to anything that moved.
Growing up, we had dogs, cats, fish, even chicken. I never touched them. If I was ever in the yard and the dogs were nearby, I’d climb the nearest tree or pounce onto the hood of the car till they were out of sight. My sister was the opposite. She rode elephants, horses, and camels all by herself. She brought home every baby bird that “fell out of the tree”. All animals were her pets.
I always secretly wished I was that comfortable around living creatures.
The thing is, the discomfort and fear are not because the dog might bite or the cat might take an eye out. It’s because these creatures can smell your funk. We’ve all heard that animals smell fear. Well, they also smell your trust issues and your self-doubt. And those who steer clear from animals, do so because they know that they’d be stripped down, and their Funky Core Medina would be exposed.
Not cool, animals.
I know how that feels. I was there. And then I had my daughter. I wanted to feed her curiosity and instill confidence instead of fear. This meant that I had to get over it and get cozy with two, four, six, even eight-legged creatures. Well last weekend, Sammy the Squirrel hopped into the palm of my hand.
A SQUIRREL WAS IN MY HAND!
Sadly, I wasn’t quick enough to capture that moment. Here he is, scoping me out.
I’m not quite at the level of snuggling with grizzly bears, but let me tell you, this is progress.
My conclusion: people who are comfortable with living things are just more comfortable with themselves.
How comfortable are you around animals? What do you do to make your children feel at home in the animal kingdom?
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I'm Nat Nanton, founder of Tutu Mama. Becoming a mother has made me commit to living my greatest life. If you can relate to that, you're in the right place.
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