Trying something new. It’s supposed to be good for our brains.
Gordon is learning how to kayak. The class is officially called ‘Introduction to Sprint Kayak Racing’. He’s loving it. Now he wants to do Stand-up Paddleboarding, or something like that.
I watched him for awhile on Saturday and after I got over how beautiful and quiet it is on the Petaluma River, I marveled at his ability to start from scratch. When I asked him about it later, he admitted that he was worried that he’d be terrible at it and that he’d get frustrated and want to quit. But he had some immediate success, so that kept him going through the 3 times (of course he counted) he tipped.
Dylan is taking his first class at the Junior College. I was more nervous for him than he was. When he was a toddler, we’d have to be the first to arrive at the park for playgroups so that he could get the lay of the land before his friends showed up. Then in grade school, he’d only try something new if his best friend was right there with him. Later, he really surprised me when he decided to play rugby. Not only did he not know a single person on the team, but he had to travel to a different high school to even join in.
I know this ‘try new things’ attitude is something they’ve learned. Because I’m a shy person, I didn’t want my kids to by shy. I wanted them to have confidence and be leaders and say ‘yes’ more often than ‘no’.
I’d always made the safe choices. Until I was 22 and went to Europe by myself. I got off the plane without hotel reservations and no real plan for the whole summer. I liked the adventure so much that the next year, I left for Tunisia – didn’t return for a year. Those experiences shaped me.
Today, as I watch my boys adventure and experience, I realize that it’s time for me to jump in again. And what will it be?