Dragons Beware!

jumping

 “Fairy tales are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be defeated.”

Neil Gaiman

Don’t worry. He will land safely on mattresses, pillows and blankets. Nevertheless, I still get nervous when he jumps with what I consider to be a total lack of regard for his safety and well-being. But he knows he will be okay. He has heard this tale before. And it doesn’t scare him.

On the other hand, this same kid who flew through the air like Spiderman, was scared to walk onto the tennis court. We signed him up for what we thought would be a fun activity and he balked both days. I even took him out last night to build up his confidence. You should have seen him. He was smashing balls like a pro. It didn’t matter. He still wouldn’t walk out on the court.

It worked out for my daughter because now she gets to play for two hours instead of one. And my son isn’t upset that he’s not on the court. He’s just not ready. Maybe he doesn’t know this fairy tale. Or maybe it’s the ending that he is unsure of. I am not certain.

He is well aware of the fact that dragons exist. I hear him toss and turn each night and I know he is dreaming of them. I just wish he knew. Knew the ending to this fairy tale.

I think we mustn’t forget this when we encounter children and adults who seem hesitant or scared when we see no reason for them to be. It is not for us to judge. Our job is to tell them the tale that was once told us. The one that gave us the courage we needed.

We must let them know that they will not have to fight this, or any other dragon alone. Yet, we somehow seem to forget that it wasn’t that long ago that we too were afraid of dragons.

Dragons can be scary.

And dragons are real.

But they can be defeated.

Just not alone.

Know one ever takes on a dragon by themselves.

Nor should they ever have to.

And once we realize this, dragons don’t seem so scary after all. We now know that they can be defeated. In fact, we begin to hunt them down. Because the feeling of overcoming our fears and taking on new challenges is so exhilarating. Especially, now that we know we are not alone.

I know that my son will one day step out on the tennis court. He will learn that he has the power to defeat his dragon. And most likely it will be the princess below that will be right by his side when he takes down the evil beast. For she is no longer scared of dragons. But she is beginning to look for a prince.

Should I be worried?

princess3

“Dear Prince:

My hair is very short.

I don’t live high at the top of a castle,

and I don’t need the rescue.

Just ride your blue bike down my street

and ring the bell this Saturday.

We can chase those dragons together.

Your Potential Princess.”

Arnold Adoff,

Just as I was about to press publish a funny thing happened. I saw a dragon. And it scared me. This is a tale I have not heard and I have no idea how it will end. My kids are 4 and 9 and from what I hear, I will blink and they will be gone.

This dragon is like nothing I have ever seen before. What do I do? I must face it head on and let it know that I am not afraid. But I am. I am afraid. And then it hits me. I do not have to fight this dragon alone. My wife, my kids and I can take him down. Together.

I know the day will come when my kids will go off to fight their own dragons. I will miss these days. When we fought the dragons together. Side by side. So I have but one choice. I must do everything I can to make each day epic. That way dragons everywhere will know that they don’t stand a chance.

But if they dare show their face I know all I have to do is call. For I am not alone. And I am no longer afraid!

Dragons Beware!

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