Sometimes a lesson needs a hook.
My son, Harrison, his friend, Nate, and I had gone to a Huntington beach, deciding at the last minute to go fishing. We improvised, bringing hotdogs we had in the fridge as bait. Nothing was biting, except the flies. Then a bee appeared.
It startled Harrison, who backed into Nate, who was holding one of the rods. Suddenly Harrison was turning around and around, and I saw a flash of red and screamed, thinking the hook got his eye.
With the bee gone, Harrison calmed down, holding his ear. Soon blood was dripping down his neck. He was just relieved that he didn’t get stung this time.
After a trip to the lifeguard’s station for some first aid for a minor scratch on his right earlobe, we headed back to the car, which soon became a confessional.
Harrison revealed that he had a phobia of bees, so I decided to share something that scares me.
“You know, I have a phobia about driving on dangerous highways, but I get through it by breathing,” I told them. “When you are frightened by something, you may want to freak out. But that can make it worse because you won’t be able to think clearly. The most important thing to do is calm down.”
Just last weekend, the advice appeared to have come in handy when Harrison met his fears head on at a theme park -- his discomfort with heights magnified when a bee appeared at the top of a rope obstacle course. He managed to make it down in one piece, shaken but steady.