This weekend was another lesson from Addie. Addie is my 2 (almost 3) year old niece, who is constantly teaching me new insights in life. Everyday I spend with her, I get an opportunity to experience life in a new, unexpected way.
Each time she visits, we try to find a new adventure. As the auntie, my job is to create these adventures, take lots of pics, and say yes to her whims as much as possible. Our weekend started at Race for Refuge, where she showed off her new racing shoes by running around the pavilion and informing me to “watch the lights on the bottom because they’ll show me how fast she is.”
For her first 5K, we expected she would ride in the stroller and take in the park as her mom and grandma walked theirs. However, her curiosity got the best of her and she couldn’t understand why everyone else could run while she rode. The result; Addie ran her first 5K, as did her mom largely due to chasing her. As she crossed the finish line, she informed me, “I wanted to run the whole way, but mom and grandma wanted to go so slow.”
Today’s lesson was a combination of squeals and goats. That’s right, goats. Equipped with two baby bottles, our adventurous spirits led us to the goat pin. We were greeted by a goat, propping himself up on the gate daring us to enter. As we gingerly nudged him off the gate so we could enter, the rest of the herd became acutely aware of the bottle in Addie’s hand. There was a slight pause in reaction from the goats, but only a slight one. Before we knew it, they were rushing us, climbing on top of each other, and butting each other out of the way trying to be the first to get the bottle.
Addie was caught between fear and excitement. She was scared that these animals that were as big as she is was crowding her, but she was excited about being close to them. I instinctively put my arm around her and was able to hold the goats back just enough to where she wouldn’t get trampled, but could still feed them. I asked her if she wanted to leave, but she looked up at me and smiled. I picked her up and we continued to feed them until the bottles were gone.
Addie taught me a valuable lesson today. She didn’t let fear keep her from experiencing something new. She knew that as long as I had my arm around her, I would keep her safe and she could face something scary.
As I’m facing a new part of my journey, I often encounter fear, sometimes from external things, but usually internally, fears of inadequacies or failure, success or change. I’m constantly being asked to experience something new and trust the people around me. Instead of choosing to leave the pin, I want to be able to let my excitement for the experience overpower the fear I might be facing.