One aspect of this life stage (childrearing, late 30's) that never ceases to catch me off guard is the radical push that your sense of comfort gets. Whether it is waking at all hours of the night, freezing on the sidelines of a rainy soccer game, or dealing with a gut wrenching emotional struggle that your 2nd grader is facing there are minutes, hours and days of discomfort.
One such event for me has been my boy's foray into the snowboarding world. Other than a handful of skiing and snowboarding afternoons I have never really felt a call to hurtle myself down mountains on slippery, stylishly decorated wood & fibreglass boards. My husband loves it. My boys declared this fall that they wanted to try it. And so lessons were set up and next week is the last of 5 weeks worth.
Kyan now loves it too. Which surprised me. I was full of discomfort on the first day, watching him pull the snowboard with one foot, a determined look of struggle on his face. Every part of me wanted to tell him to unstrap his foot and forget about it. I expressed this only to Dave who kindly told me Kyan was doing great. As for our 4 year old, perhaps he was too young to start. That determination was not in him for this activity yet. But in a few years we will revisit it and see if he will join in the fun with Dad and big brother or hang out with mama doing something else.
The lesson that has become more apparent to me as the boys have worked on lifting their toes up and getting off the chair lift, is that I must endure the discomfort. I must stand there with my hands in fists at my side and not comment. There are so many things that my kids do that other parents may cringe at if their kids were doing. I don't get that feeling about: playing in mud, swinging sticks around, walking a bit too far ahead on the trail....no problem. They'll be fine. Strapping a board on your feet and heading down a steep incline covered in snow.....Oh, my.....
But as I watched Kyan last week I felt a small sense of peace. His slow and methodical personality shone through as he descended the run. And I knew that he was ok. The tension in my body relaxed slightly and I remembered again to let go. Does the mama bird feel that apprehension when her young-ling flies off for the first attempt in the air? Parenting is a never-ending series of letting go and holding close. Certainly it's not recommended for the faint of heart.