Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

Ten Day Challenge Day Four

Onto the fourth day of the Ten Day Challenge thanks to Tezza at MyTeeFine.

Seven Fears / Phobias

Again this is possibly a subject that is a bit of a challenge for a guy to face up to, because if we’re scared of something the last thing we’re supposed to do is talk about it. On top of which, I’m not scared as such of a lot of things which a lot of people would say they are scared of: snakes, spiders, bugs, dogs, birds, germs – they all need to be managed, not feared. Forgetting about what I’m not scared of – here is my list…

    1. Admitting fear
      If I admit I’m scared of a situation, that erodes my authority as a person to turn to should that situation arise.
    2. Being away when I’m needed.
      Especially given my current work situation – commuting to Canberra every Monday morning, and not returning till dinner time Friday – I’m realistically scared that some event will arise while I’m too far away to actually be able to help, or take charge. Because yeah, that’s what I do.
    3. Becoming seperated.
      With a non verbal son, my biggest fear regarding our children is the potential that he will wander off and he won’t be able to express to whoever is unlucky enough to find him won’t understand what in the world is going on. We have experienced this once, at ANZ Stadium (as it was at the time) in Sydney Olympic Park.
      We do what we can. But strangely enough, both my wife and I are human, as are our children, and we just can’t phyiscally be with our son 100% of the time. Even if we are, he’s quick.

      ANZ Stadium

      Image by Vijay Chennupati at

    4. Aging, disgracefully.
      I’m happy enough to get older, and more mature. What I am a bit scared of, is something unplanned – say a car accident – interfering with my own plans to stay fit, healthy and active, well into my sixties and seventies.
    5. What I don’t control.
      This probably belongs at the top of my list.
      As a driver, as a cyclist, every day I do things that kill more people than anything else: I go onto the road with other people. The scariest thing isn’t something I will do, it’s that I will be the victim of someone else doing something stupid.
    6. What will happen when my son is older.
      All parents worry about that, parents of special needs children are actively scared. I KNOW that some of what he does is unacceptable and could result in him being “managed” if he was in care – even in foster care.
      That this could be 10, 20, or 50 years of his life, is actually scary.
      Sure, I hope that he’ll grow and develop and be able to live independently. Or if not quite independently, he will get along well enough with his siblings that he will be looked after enough.
    7. Change.
      Face it, change and the unknown are what we are all really scared of. Change is the underlying issue behind all six of those things that I just mentioned. Change I can’t predict.

Thanks to Tezza for prompting me to confront my fear.

Yes, I’m fearful of these things, but I’m also brave enough to march forward and meet these fears. They won’t stop me from living life. I will drive, every day, and ride a bicycle when I care to. I will own my phyiscal wellbeing, at every stage of my life, and do what I can to make sure that in ten years, I will be as fit as anyone can expect. I have some great role models in my family, but also some real warning signs, that if I take my health for granted it won’t be there when I come to rely on it.


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