29 Sep
Posted in: parenting, travel
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Being More Brave Than Mom

Full view of Rushmore Tramway Adventures Aerial Park

I watched our oldest son carefully listen to the directions as he nervously played with the harness he was wearing. He had chosen an aerial obstacle course to celebrate turning 12 years old, and this past weekend we ran from our over-scheduled lives to Keystone, South Dakota to let him give it a try. He was minutes away from climbing above the earth and into the trees above our heads.

Stepping across an aerial bridge at Rushmore Tramway Adventures

I could tell he was a little nervous. His only question was how the harness and clips worked and how they would keep him safe. I listened to the directions and was trying to not become agitated. There was A LOT to remember. Place this there, then this there. Make sure your hand is here, not here.

Silhouetted in the trees of an aerial obstacle course

Five minutes later we were trudging up the hill to the start of the course. B was quiet, the way he gets when overcome by nerves, but he didn’t hesitate. He picked his course and climbed right up. Once he convinced a family to let him go in front of them, he cruised right along. He never wavered. Not once did I feel like he wanted down.

Walking on a plank at an aerial obstacle course

He’s so very different than his mama. New things may make him nervous, but the unknown has never stopped him from doing anything. He jumps right into the abyss of newness. I pace at the shore, not wanting to commit to anything new. The uncertainties hold me back. My cautious nature has eased in my 12 years of parenting. Watching our oldest has taught me how to be more brave, how to not stand on the shore and be afraid of what may never happen.

Close-up on a zipline

I watched B climb ever higher in the trees and my heart soared. I love that he decides he wants to try something, and he just does it. Go ahead and tell him he can’t. He’ll prove he can. He’s done it time and time again.  Even when he ran into a snafu during one section on one of the courses, he never cried for help or cowered. He problem-solved his way out, with a little help from an employee. I pray he holds on to that tenacity and bravery. It will continue to serve him well.


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