Dad, are you afraid of bumblebees? She said.
The question came out of nowhere.
We were lying on the giant swing together both gazing up upon the blue summer sky. The peaceful atmosphere in this isolated garden seemed to have slowed down time. The warmth and the gentle sounds of the wind in the tree above us lulled us into a state of peaceful contemplation. In this treasured moment her words came out with great significance.
Are you afraid of bumblebees? She asked.
No, not really, I answered. Are you?
I guess not
With plenty of time to spare we generously let an untold number of seconds pass before continuing dawn the thought pattern we had embarked upon.
Then, what are you afraid of? I asked her.
It didn't take her long to confess her fear of lions to me.
I can see that, fortunately we do not have lions in Denmark, I reassured her.
Another pause followed.
But dad, you are afraid of spiders! she suddenly burst out with a slight teasing tone and a vague smile on here lips.
I am not afraid of spiders, as such, but I certainly dislike them, I answered in an unsuccessful effort to teach her the "spiders are not dangerous" lesson.
I am also afraid of unfamiliar dogs, she continued. Especially those with big teeth. But I like Ceasar (my parents' dog) I know him, and he is nice.
I nodded in understanding, thinking we had taught her well to stay away from random dogs in the streets.
Let us instead talk about things we like, she said sounding wise beyond her years. I like cats.. and Guinea Pigs. And I like jumping on the trampoline.
She was clearly on a roll here and was not to be interrupted. She leaned her head further backwards over the edge of the swing looking down on the moving ground underneath us. And grass!, she proclaimed.
A longer pause followed until her thoughts settled on chocolate and I figured my participation in our conversation would be welcomed again.
I was about to share my views on the positive aspects of chocolate, grass and trampolines when our moment of contemplation came to an abrupt ending. Our little closed world was breached as we were called inside and there was no point in continuing the conversation.
I never had the chance to confess to my fears during our conversation, and to be honest, I believe my daughter is better off without them. I have, however, been left alone with my thoughts all day now. Thoughts about life and death. What really makes me afraid? My thoughts have finally settled on "regrets". I am really afraid of waking up as an old man wise beyond my years realizing how wrong I was.