This Morning My Son Brought Me Coffee. Here’s Why That Was Amazing.

Since the dawn of time, darkness has cast its fearful spell on humanity. Now, I can’t prove this, but I’m certain Neanderthal fathers around the globe were lifting their knuckles from the floor to console their little hairy bundles of joy. No doubt, they were arguing the fact that indeed nothing was lurking beneath the bed rock. These large, lumbering dads were themselves terrified of planting a hobbit-esque foot squarely onto a hand-carved play thing. (Pre-Lego. Sadly, times have not changed at all.)

In truth, the darkness isn’t scary at all. The fact that we don’t know what hides under the cloak of darkness is what sends shivers down our collective spine. Yup, the fear of the unknown is a mighty beast… until you put a hand out in front of you, of course.

This morning I allowed our 9-year-old son to shower on his own, dress himself, sit down to his breakfast and sip on a cup of hot tea. If that doesn’t boggle your mind, just last night I asked that he prepare his old man a cup of Joe. All. On. His. Own.

Allow me to explain myself. Our son, Nicholas, is autistic, so a few of these life skills are coming to him gradually. You, sir or madam, might think of a bathroom and kitchen as everyday features in your home. I see them as potential horror chambers armed with medieval torture devices yearning to deliver hurt. My wife says I have a flair for the dramatic, which is plausible, maybe, but I have genuine concerns that Nicholas might hurt himself. Don’t judge me! I’m a dad, and I can’t help it! (Remember not to sit too close to the screen while you’re reading this.)

Yet, after sipping on my tepid (but wonderful!) coffee and observing young Nic conquer his morning routine, I realized how capable he really is. My own fears and concerns, although coming from a good place, have ultimately been more of a hindrance than any bruise or cut could ever be. This morning I had a parental eureka moment. There are many scary things out there in the darkness. When we face these fears, terrifying as they might be, realistically we’re only presented with two options. You can step into the dark and deal with the monsters lurking within or remain hidden in one spot hoping they don’t smell the scent of fear.

Whatever you decide, remember fear is a prison. We are harboring Neanderthal genes, whether you like it or not. I’m sure cavemen wouldn’t survive in a cage. So why don’t you take a deep breath and step into the dark. You might be surprised by what you find.


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