One thing I've historically been afraid of is reptiles. When I was young, I would run like the wind away from them. When my daughter was two years old, she expressed a profound love for all things reptile, much to my bafflement. I remember the time she had a friend's boa (not the feathery kind) around her shoulder and it was slither around her neck and down her arm. She came toward me with an expression of sheer delight on her face. Meanwhile, I was trying to still the panic rising within me and try to express a rather non-convincing appreciation for it. I was blown away. Her was my girly-girl, pink-loving, barbie girl who loved reptiles and me, a tom-boy who loves being outside and is not above getting dirty and climbing trees and I'm terrified of them. It got me thinking...what was so great about reptiles. Her appreciation and love for them, opened my mind to the possibility that I could appreciate them to and that quite possibly they are not really anything to be afraid of.
Where we lived, there were lots of geckos. Quite often they would get inside the house and she would catch them for me and take them outside, but not before we admired their beautiful skin and all the unique colors on them. She would hold them in her hands and stroke their backs and we would watch their fast breathing. Then she would take them outside and gently place them in a shady spot. They would pause a moment and then be off. Those were great moments. And while I don't want to have a reptile in my house (I said no to her getting an iguana as a pet and said she could have a cat instead), I appreciate them for what they are, beautiful, ancient-looking, amazing beings of the earth.