Friday, April 6, 2012

Free Falling

The other day I took my kids on a really long bike ride.

They had to get their ya-yas out.  It was the start of spring break and already I could tell that Sam and Kate needed an energy release.

For those of you who don't live in Omaha, we have a fabulous park in midtown called Memorial with a huge hill that takes you up to flights of stairs and a beautiful wartime memorial.  So, with the baby on the front carrier, I forced my 7 and 4-year olds to bike up the hill pedal by excruciating pedal.  Consequently, when we got to the top, they wanted to go down.

I knew that the older was good to go.  He was proficient with the brakes, had a helmet on, and so I sent him sailing.  The younger, well, she's a bird of another color.  She started slowly...but as we all know, once you gain momentum, there's nothing you can do, but go for it.  And like a bird, she started to free fall down the hill uncontrollably.  But miraculously, landed on her bike upright.  She was ecstatic.  Thrilled that she'd conquered the hill both up and down.

I looked at her and cringed as she made her way certain that she'd eat the concrete and dawn a beautiful purple shiner right before my folks came into town for the Easter holiday.  I pictured her losing a tooth or breaking an arm.  But she didn't.  And the best part was the entire excursion was done by herself.  And so the accomplishment was thrilling.

I saw me in falling.  Trying to make the best of where I'm at in my life.  Scared to go a little deeper.  Trying not to fall off the bike, but knowing that I'll have to risk it if I want the good stuff.

Free falling is a crazy deal.  You can go either way.  You can biff or you can land up right.  Regardless, at the end, you know you're alive.

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