A family friend sent me a book, The Highly Sensitive Person, this week after first approaching me two weeks ago that it would be okay to send. I’ve been considered a “Highly Sensitive Person” much of my life, told I’m too emotional, too sensitive, I’ve entered reading this book slowly. After 30-odd years of adjusting oneself, I accepted in my late teens that tears were just my first reaction to many things.But a few pages in, I’m learning new ways to not just understand myself but how others perceive the world different than me and that’s always useful.
So what does that have to do with Thumbelina? Well, it’s one of those stories that has impacted my life. Thanks to Thumbelina, or more specifically to the turn-the-page with the recording of Thumbelina, I have an irrational fear of frogs. If you heard those voices too, the croaky frogs wanted to take Thumbelina to live at the bottom of the pond in mud forever, you might be slightly nervous in their vicinity. I can still conjure from somewhere in my brain, the sounds, because other than that part, I love the story of Thumbelina.
And knowing that this one story has stuck with me, I try to consider what might “stick” for my son. It’s more curiosity than fear – I’m not a big helicopter parent, but I do find it interesting as I examine myself.
What “stuck” for you that if you trace a fear or just something you avoid in life goes back to early childhood?
By the way, being a camp counselor cured me of avoiding frogs. Enough frogs shoved in your face by young eager boys looking for praise for catching one or mischievous older ones placing them on your person, well, you get over it. I’m still not eager to see them. But if frogs avoid me, I avoid them.