I used to fancy myself an adventurous woman, never really dangerous though. Oh sure, I always wore my bike helmet and my seatbelt, but I also ate food from questionable sidewalk vendors and debuted white water rafting on class five rapids. Heck, I went to Thailand for three weeks as a first date with one lucky guy. In fact, before I knew I was pregnant, the embryonic Holden jumped from a bridge in Slovenia with me and Alec on our honeymoon. Then again, I was also obsessed with only drinking bottled water and not going into any sketchy neighborhoods looking too much like a clueless tourist. So, that’s me: A lover of risk-taking and full of contradictions.
My baby son is sleeping on me right now in my striped pink Moby wrap. He is a pudgy-cheeked angel and I can’t imagine him as a man. My older son is also napping. He wears a fleecy dress, cuddles a lovey, and uses a pacifier for sleep. But it is getting easier to imagine this willful toddler as a crazy teenager.
I frequently debate myself (and Whitney) about the merits of fostering independence vs. slavishly adhering to safety restrictions we’ve come to follow over the last twenty or thirty years. How much of my hovering is legitimately based in safety concerns and how much is just holding on too tightly? I try to remember to let Holden fall sometimes so he can learn to get back up. I admire parents that can “let go” enough to stop looming on the playground (until they carelessly allow their son to kick or punch my kid, and then I think they suck!)
I love this laugh-out-loud promotional video for the Dangerous Book for Boys and all that it suggests about raising our sons to be adventurous and curious. I also love that the dad is such an active participant in fostering these attitudes. The early baby stuff can be so darn mom-focused, so seeing this helps me look forward to the future. As a mom, I hope I get my share of the fun too.
Let’s get a little dirty, be a little spontaneous, learn how to explode ants with a magnifying glass. I’m still afraid to think of the risks my children will take. Luckily, I also believe that the ones that I worry about are not the same as the ones they’ll actually think of themselves.