She was volunteering as a classroom mom on the day when the reptiles came to visit.  The reptologist brought her up front for the demonstration, and he put a boa constrictor around her neck.  The boa’s name was Mrs. Pretzel.

As I listened to the story, her daughter said, “Mom, I remember thinking you were so cool.  You just took this snake on your shoulders.  You were so brave.  You didn’t seem afraid at all.”

“Well, I couldn’t be afraid.  Not in front of all those children.  It was time to be brave.”  Even as she remembered, she stood stock still, unflinching, as if Mrs. Pretzel were nearby, waiting to wrap around her neck.

Later in the same conversation, she asked me if I worry about the boys, about the things they’ll try and the risks they’ll take.

“I feel much like you felt about Mrs. Pretzel.  I can’t be afraid.  It’s time to be brave.”

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