Amy Rees Anderson

Totally Unafraid

Have you ever tried chasing after a two year old who is running as fast as he can down a long hallway while wearing four inch high heels?  Well, that’s exactly what I was doing Sunday.  We had been sitting in the chapel of our church listening to the speaker when my grandson started acting up. I couldn’t blame him, after all he’d been sitting still for 90 minutes at that point, but that’s when he reached his limit. So I took him by the hand and walked him into the hallway. The second we hit the hallway it was as if everything inside of him yelled “I’M FREE!!!!” and he took off running at top speed down the long hallway ahead. 

At first I tried calling his name in a loud whisper, but it was no use…that kid was outta there. I started walking as fast as I could in my fitted dress and high heels to try and catch up to him.  But he rounded the first corner without missing a beat and was suddenly out of my view.  I felt my anxiety go up as I thought about the fact there would only be one more corner after this one and then he’d have a straight shot down the hallway that led to the exit door of the building, which opened to a busy parking lot outside. I began jogging in my high heels…

By the time I rounded that first corner too I saw his backside already turning the next corner and again he was out of my sight. Knowing the dangers that lie ahead of him if I didn’t catch up to him, I began to panic a little.  “Flynn!” I yelled out – no longer caring whether my voice carried into the chapel where everyone was listening reverently to the speaker – all I could think of was the dangers that lie ahead of that little boy if I didn’t get to him before he hit the exit door of the building. I began running in my high heels…

Little Flynn had no idea there was danger ahead, nor did he care. All he knew is that he was thrilled to be running and he was having the time of his life running down the open hallway ahead of him. He didn’t even care where the hallway was taking him – he was just excited to find out!  He was laughing out loud as he ran knowing Grandma was trying to catch him…running and laughing….he was having the time of his life. 

There wasn’t an ounce of fear or worry hinder that kid…just freedom and adventure and the joy of running full steam ahead…. By the time he hit that exit door I was only a few feet away from him. He had run almost a full circle around the entire church building at that point! When he pushed on the exit door and the weight was heavier than him he dropped down to the ground laughing hysterically in a ball.  He was so proud of himself for having made it so far.

I’ve thought a lot about yesterday’s experience with Flynn a few times today….especially tonight when I took him out to a restaurant tonight for dinner and the first thing he did when I got him out of his high chair at dinner was to bolt like lightening toward the doors of the restaurant, laughing in joy all the way….luckily this time I wasn’t wearing high heels!  But watching him made me think about how at two years old we literally have no fear of anything – we are just excited and willing to run ahead – yet by adulthood we are full of worries about everything and we become slow and cautious and we slow ourselves way down….often we slow too far down…we let fear block our joy…

While there is certainly wisdom in being careful of dangers that lie ahead, as my Grandson Flynn reminded me, there is also real wisdom in being totally unafraid to run full steam ahead, laughing joyfully as we do!

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

1 Comment

  • Marsha says:

    Ahhh, to be 2 again!!!! May Flynn never lose that 2 y/o spark & let all of us “grown-ups” recapture a bit of it somehow. I still say the best therapy I’ve ever had is from watching & being with my grandkids over the years & Gramma is the BEST job E V E R!!! Grandkids are “the Bomb!” & we should ALL be Grandparents somehow–it’s Life Savoring at it’s best—NOTHING compares to the experience.

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