I was born with a moderate fear of heights. Something I realized when I was on top of the faux Eiffel Tower at Kings Dominion Park in Richmond, Virginia over 30 years ago. Walking to the edge had me very shaky and worried somehow I would hurl myself off of the Tower and fall. Which of course was impossible given the amount of fencing all around the top. This same fear has only cropped up a few times in life, most recently on ski lifts. So last month I got to experience a double whammy – taking my 7 and 9-year-old boys to ski for the first time in Crested Butte, Colorado, and riding with and WITHOUT them on ski lifts. One of the lifts had (gasp) no bar. Damn you Teocali lift!
The kids did so well skiing that after 2 days we were all going on lifts together. We were there with another family so there were several of us skiing together, kids and adults at different times. I became so comfortable and was having so much fun that during one run I realized I was behind with my friends and looked up and saw that my boys were getting on the lift with their buddies too. Without an adult! Panic struck my heart as I got on the chair behind them and watched nervously as the chair went up and up and up. About halfway up I realized they were doing great just hanging with their buddies. Enjoying the beautiful fresh Colorado air and chatting (probably about Minecraft). So I took a deep breath and realized that: (1) I needed to capture this moment, but more importantly (2) I needed to learn to let go. Just a little…
Next lift, of course, I was right there with them but was forced to admit that it was probably a good thing for their self-esteem and confidence to do that lift all by themselves. And good for me to maybe give them some space when they’re ready.
Guess we all learned some new tricks over spring break this year 🙂