Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Mom doesn't want to pass on fears to kids, but about those clowns ...

I worry about passing my fears onto my son. I want him to inherit my love of books and art, not my coulrophobia, which is a fancy term for fear of clowns.

Still, I know if I act afraid of something Ethan may come to fear it too, and it pains me to say some things really freak me out.

I am easily startled. I hate frogs because, well, I don't trust anything that can go from floor to face in a split second. And the aforementioned clowns? Don't get me started on those face-painted circus demons. I once made my husband's arm bleed trying to escape a Pennywise mob at Busch Garden's Howl-O-Scream.

Then there are the big fears, the ones we all battle on some level. I fear growing old and my body failing. I fear the ugliness in the world and my inability to stop it. I fear making mistakes.

I know Ethan will ponder life's difficult questions one day. I want to set a good example and not let the daily what-ifs overwhelm me. I want to remember to let go and let God.

I wish becoming a parent meant instantly outgrowing my neurosis, but something tells me it isn't that easy. I can not hide my anxieties forever. I am only human.

So, if one day a toad crosses my path and I scream in front of Ethan, my plan is to laugh it off. I will tell him mommy is silly, that frogs will not hurt him and clowns are just people in ghastly makeup.

And when the serious questions arise, I will tell him the truth: Life is scary sometimes.

It is how we handle it that makes the difference.

Sarah Whitman is a married mother of an infant (soon to be a toddler) who lives in Land O'Lakes.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Don’t expect help from careless grandma

Q: My mother moved to be closer to us when we had a baby, who’s now 2. She’s not responsible with him. She gives him anything he points to and grunts. Just in the past month, this has included a lighter ("He doesn’t know how to use it"), garden shear...
Published: 02/19/18
Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Some stopped midway, some turned around and ran the wrong way and some dashed to the arms of their owners as more than 300 average house pets took to the track at Derby Lane on Sunday for the Mutt Derby. The popular fundraiser for the Jaycees died o...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Doubts creep in to six-year relationship

Q: I have been with my partner for six years and have just graduated from college. I love my partner and could see myself happily married to them for the long haul. However, I am beginning to feel wistful about never having dated anyone else — or kis...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Vacation opens dialogue about money

Vacation opens dialogue about moneyQ: My girlfriend and I just went on our first vacation together. I thought it went well, but after we were home she told me she felt I had been cheap because I wanted to split all costs 50-50.I think cheap would be ...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Gasparilla Distance Classic: One of Tampa’s best known road races returns to downtown, with a 5K and 15K Saturday and an 8K and half marathon on Sunday. The chief attraction is the 15K on Saturday, which takes runners out and back along the man...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

TAMPA — Chloe Lukasiak will take on a different role than she is accustomed when she stops by the Florida State Fair this weekend.After all, the 16-year-old Pennsylvania-native and resident rose to fame on Seasons 1 through 4 of Lifetime’s reality te...
Published: 02/15/18

Tell Me About It: Past eating disorder affects food choices

Q: My wife refuses to change her diet and grocery shopping to accommodate my health needs and those of our kids. Everything she gets is processed grains and sugar. My doctor recently recommended losing weight, and exercise won’t cut it. But because s...
Published: 02/15/18
Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

GO, DOG, GO: Mutt DerbyOne of the most hilarious days at the races is Sunday, when ordinary house pets get a chance to run on the Derby Lane greyhound track. Mutt Derby registration begins at 11 a.m., but you can register in advance at greyhoundpets...
Published: 02/14/18
This week’s best concerts: Mary J. Blige, Kelsea Ballerini, Wyclef Jean and more

This week’s best concerts: Mary J. Blige, Kelsea Ballerini, Wyclef Jean and more

LEGEND IN THE MAKING: Kelsea BalleriniComing off a debut with three No. 1 singles — Love Me Like You Mean It, Dibs and Peter Pan — it’s no surprise Kelsea Ballerini was feeling the pressure before dropping her sophomore album Unapologetically last fa...
Published: 02/14/18
5 things to do under $5: Apple's Steve Wozniak, mini golf in the library, Clearwater street parties

5 things to do under $5: Apple's Steve Wozniak, mini golf in the library, Clearwater street parties

1 Steve Wozniak: The Apple co-founder, above, will give a free talk on Tuesday, Feb. 20 as part of USF Muma College of Business’ new Thought Leader series. The college’s dean will conduct a discussion about everything from the need for en...
Published: 02/14/18