What would I do if my kids turn out the way I was and over when it comes to fearlessness?
This has been my worst nightmare ever since I got the first kid kicking in my belly. There was hell of a kicking for about 5 months and now, three years later, he hasn’t stopped yet. The same for my girl. I get tired just by looking at how energetic they are. And talkative. And inventive. And always playing, running, talking, talking, talking. My head spins just describing it.
What if my kids are as persistent as I was about some other, wilder things. My curiosity and stubbornness took me to great lengths when it came to, well, everything. I haven’t been to the moon yet – but that’s because the tickets are so expensive. But, parachute and bungee jumps, flying helicopters, riding bikes, cars, boats with no driving licence – I’ve done. Jumping off ships and cliffs, diving into sunken ships, running barefoot in the snow, eating questionable things found in the forest, hitchhiking and all sorts of other crazier experiments (censored because my mom may be reading this) – check and done. Check and done out of curiosity. And here comes my recurring nightmare – what if my kids have the same temperament?
I remember when I first did the bungee jump – it was a birthday gift for my 18th from a boyfriend of mine (apparently, my friends knew what to get me as a gift!). I went and jumped. I first jumped a whole queue of scared boys – without bragging about it, it was a fact. I jumped overlooking mountains and rivers and straight down a big rocky cliff. What on earth was I thinking? But it was supreme. And then, because my parents lived in another country at that time, I had to tell my grandma – who took care of me for a while – what I had just done. I still remember the moment.
I went to her and said, “granny, I… well, you know I had birthday yesterday…so, the gang and I – well, they bought me this present – ammm, a bungee jump present, aaaammmm, I did a bungee jump”.
And then I paused.
My granny blinked a few times, shook her head gently, smiled, and said, “oh dear, why did you have to take after me out of all people?”. Obviously, because my granny has been parachute jumping like a pop-tart when she was young. She even has several medals for her parachute jumps! That day, she told me so many wild stories of hers when she was young. Once even, in one of her parachute jumps, one of her girlfriends who was also in for the jump gets her period right there in the helicopter, a little before the very jump. My granny, young and quick as a deer, takes off her knickers (back then, imagine parachute size!), folds them and gives them to her girlfriend. I know – crazy. So, my granny ends up jumping with no knickers on, just the pants, of course!
Now I think, oh my God, what would my son or daughter do when they grow up? Will they get to jump and fly and do all of this? Is there a parental way to stop them from doing what I was doing? Isn’t the line between making our kids insanely brave or complete chickens very, very thin? I can so see myself as my granny, smile it off, keep it cool, share my personal stories, tell what’s the danger (but keep the burning worries inside and pray a lot). Is there a parachute to save my kids when they start experimenting and trying out the Bear Grylls way?
I guess, when I asked for thrills the parachute and the bungee jumps weren’t it.