Thursday, May 12, 2011
As a child, fear of dogs plagued me to the extreme. I would like to say it was the Boston terrier in a diaper who chased me at full speed during a family reunion or even the vicious mutt that lived on the corner who chased me at a fuller speed from the bus stop that ruined me for the little dears. Whatever the cause, I was driven to a panic anytime our canine friends came near. This included the critters that lived with us throughout my life.
Finally fed up with me being afraid, Daddy decided to use bribery to get me over it. He told me that if I would make friends with our family's pet schnauzer, Jen-Jen, then he would take us to Chuck-E-Cheese, a new and fantastic restaurant that all of my friends were exploring at the time. Yet the lure of pizza and games could not bring me to call a truce.
Gayla also desired to join the "in" crowd at this new eatery and entertainment factory. Therefore, she made it her mission to "help" (MAKE) me conquer my fear. She made sure we were alone in the yard, and she held Jen-Jen with her head away from me. Gayla pulled me crying and shaking over to the dog and made me start petting her. Sister talked to me the whole time, telling me the puppy would not hurt me and only wanted me to love her. We were out there for an hour or so, and eventually, like letting my bicycle go when teaching me to keep my balance, Gayla released Jen-Jen to fully play with me. Upon seeing that I was not going to be eaten alive by our dog, I simply "got over it" and, true to his word, Daddy took us all to eat horrible, card board pizza and play expensive games.
Gayla was always my champion. She encouraged me and sometimes drug me kicking and screaming into living this life. If I was afraid, she held my hand and spoke to me kindly (except for Space Mountain...once again...so very sorry). If I was unsure, sister laid out the pros and cons for me. A few times she even laid down the law. That's what big sisters do! There's still so much I am afraid of in life. Who is going to hold my hand and talk me through it now?