Friday, November 19, 2010
Adventure is Out There (And Also, Knitting)
My middlest kid* went sky diving last Saturday. And I found out after the fact, which is probably a win/win situation. Win #1 -- she didn't tell me before she went, so I wasn't worried. Win #2 -- she made it back on solid ground, safely. When she called me from the airfield to share her exciting news, I was mildly shocked, and I told her she was a little "stinker." A wise friend was a little less poetic when he told her that there are only two things that fall from the sky: bird poop and fools.
In retrospect, I should have known that something was up when my girl hinted a few weeks ago that she was considering jumping out of plane. That seems to have been a rather obvious clue. When she asked me what I thought about the possibility of her going sky diving, I was a bit surprised and told her not to tell me if she ever did. Then I chalked it up to a college dare which would never be fulfilled, and promptly filed that little bit of conversation in the Scarlett O'Hara part of my brain labeled, "I'll Think About That Tomorrow." After all, this was the same kid who practically stayed glued to my hip for her entire infancy and the better part of her toddler years. This was the kid who waited until she was 14 months old to start walking (not because she didn't want to walk, but because, with two older siblings and an overly affectionate and clumsy Labrador, it was just safer to stay near the ground.) This is also the kid who, unlike her other siblings, never once thought about climbing out of her crib. Ever. This is the same kid who was terrified of an over-active pre-school classmate named Jimmie Lee. Jimmie Lee wasn't really a bad kid, but his rough and tumble, all-boy antics terrified my shy little girl. She kept a safe distance far away from his boisterous ways for most of the year, until one day when she had an epiphany. When I came to her classroom to pick her up from preschool Middlest ran to me and excitedly proclaimed, "Mama!! Guess what! I'm not afraid of Jimmie Lee anymore!!" It was a pivotal moment in her young life.
So the recent news that Middlest was even considering sky diving, and then the revelation that she had actually taken such a daring plunge may have surprised me, but it also made me smile. Truthfully, the mama hen in me would like to keep those apron strings firmly tied.....just a little longer; to have my girl stay on the ground, to go the safe route. I would have steered her toward learning a new language, or trying her hand at knitting --something in which gravity played a minimal role in the ultimate outcome. But the mother hen in me also admired her moxie. I was excited and proud that she had stepped out of her comfort zone [quite literally!] and that she had discovered something new that she wasn't afraid of, a different kind of "Jimmie Lee." Middlest wrote about her adventure on her blog and posted a quote by Henry David Thoreau, “How vain is it to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live?”
And then, do you know what that stinker did? She had the nerve to invite me to go with her the next time she goes sky diving. With her?! Next time?! Oh Mylanta! I'm all for "standing up to live," but jumping out of planes?? No, thank you! Everyone knows that mother hens don't fly, and they certainly don't jump out of planes!
I think I'll take up knitting, merci beaucoup.
* I call her the "middlest" because she's the third of four kids, the middle of the middle-- sandwiched between her older and younger sisters.