As far as moms go, I try to be chill and relax but the reality is, I’m VERY risk averse. I have only one child and he is so precious to me. I’m terrified of losing him because he is my everything. I would love to wrap him in bubble wrap, if only to save him from being broken by the world.
Recently, we had a fabulous time away at a local resort which culminated in my son’s first time on a toboggan. I thought my child would approach things in a calm, cautious way—kind of like his mom. However, it turns out that was not his approach at all.
He hauled his cute little snowpants-encased butt up a hill and slid down, shrieking joyfully.
“THIS IS AWESOME” he shouted, seeking out an even larger hill for his next attempt. I stood and watched his adventures in sheer terror. I wondered whether maybe he should have been wearing a helmet, body armour or the aforementioned bubble wrap. Every time he shouted in victory and sought out a larger hill, I grinned at him, but inside I was calculating the risk of paralysis. I inhaled the crisp winter air and gave myself a reality check.
Going down a big hill on a sled was part of my childhood and I turned out just fine. I had no broken bones to speak of and it was a joy-filled experience of letting go and letting life happen as I hurtled down the hill. It would be fair to say I’m unreasonably tightly wound and could use some letting go and letting stuff happen in my life, myself. My child is also rather tightly wound. We’ve had a tough year with loss and it was liberating to watch him release his sad and embrace the novel experience of being out control and joyful. After all, it’s a rite of passage.
In the end, we made memories, not injuries. I had nothing to worry about except a sore belly from laughing at him. The path he made trudging up the hill cleared the way for happiness found in new experiences and the simple joy of letting go. I can’t always save him from being broken by the world and I have to accept that or he’s never going to have a normal childhood. I’m not returning the bubble wrap, though. That stuff is almost as much fun as tobogganing.