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 her...free 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.