Taking Chances

posted by Momo Fali on April 27, 2009

Roughly 14 years ago I went paraplaning with some co-workers, one of whom would become my future husband.

If you have never seen a paraplane, it is a glorified go-cart with an enormous fan on the back. As you drive the go-cart across a field, the fan fills a parachute which acts as your wings. Before you know it, you’re alone, 700 feet in the air with steel strapped to your rear end and nothing connecting you to your friends on the ground but a walkie talkie.

Photo courtesy http://www.sunflightcraft.com/

Because of a technical malfunction, my husband had no radio contact. He flew around, without flight instruction, for almost a half an hour and absolutely loved the experience. I, however, spoke clearly with the people on the ground, and was so terrified that I made only one loop around the farm because I feared I might buy it.

I had always thought I would be more of a daredevil, but the paraplane set me straight. A few years later, I was conveniently pregnant when my husband went white-water rafting and sky-diving without me.

I am fine with that. I own the fact that I don’t take chances.

About a month ago, I put word out that we were looking for a puppy. I also, half-heartedly, asked someone to stop me.

Our 11 year old dog has been a great big pain. She is finally at a point where she’s calm and controllable, so why would we think about starting from scratch?

A few folks tried to talk some sense into me, including my best friend who knows me all too well. She knows how busy my life is, and how having a dog throws a wrench into just about everything you do.

But then, a childhood friend sent me a message that simply said, “Go for it — life is short.”

And that? Was all it took.

Life is tough enough thanks to the worrying we do over whether we’re raising our kids the right way, if they’re doing well socially and academically, if they’re going to get hurt playing sports, or get plucked off the street by a stranger. Having kids is a pinch of love and a whole lot of stress. It’s all about taking chances.

Add to that, the fact that my six year old son walks around at risk of a stroke every day, or that he needs open heart surgery, or that his life has been one, big, uphill battle.

Life is short for all of us, but for some people, life can be risky without ever intentionally taking a risk. Some people don’t have to fly a go-cart through the air or jump out of a plane. My son is one of them. His life is risky because he exists. All I needed was a reminder.

That is the reason my fingers have become chew toys and why we are going through paper towels like they’re going out of style. My little boy wants to run and romp and play with a puppy and he deserves the chance to do so.

Life is short and we went for it. And, I am so glad we did.

    Comments

  • Lisa@verybusymomwith4


    You are right, life is short. Your son is so lucky to have a mom like you 🙂

  • geeksinrome


    what a beautiful post. puppies and children are like chocolate and peanut butter… What a wonderful mom!!

  • Ed


    I kind of needed that this morning. Life is short.

    I’m still not gonna go para-planing or skydiving or bungee jumping or….!

  • Melisa with one S


    Stick this post on the frig, Momo! As the owner of a 5-year-old beagle who was a terror as a puppy (sort of), you’re gonna need to remind yourself why you dove in every now and then! Great post!

  • DiaperPin Up Girl


    Good for you! Congratulations on the new addition to your home!

  • Angella


    Perfectly said. Per usual.

    (There is NO WAY IN HELL that I would ever get into one of those contraptions. You are a braver woman than I.)

  • Ashley


    I’m glad to hear you are enjoying your new puppy!

  • WeaselMomma


    I am not the sappy type usually, and I definitely thought you were nuts for throwing a puppy into the mix. That said, this post really showed me the light. I tear came to my my eye at it’s sweetness and fragility. You rock and are a great mom.

  • Sarah


    Thanks again for making me tear up at work…life is short. Amen sista!

  • Heather


    Papers towels are cheap.

  • surprised mom


    What a great mom you are. You had me tearing up here. Enjoy your dog! And never, no way, would I ever get into a paraplane. I couldn’t dig up enough courage.

  • Have the T-shirt


    I have a friend who has never had any pets, not even goldfish, for her children.

    In my heart I feel those kids have really missed out in so many ways, but I try not to judge!

    My boys have been surrounded by dogs, cats, snakes, newts, fish, gerbils and guinea pigs. Everyone of those animals gave my children so much, but none as much as the dogs that grew up right along side of them.

    Those dogs have been playmates and therapists to my children and they have been teachers as well.

    I have no doubt you did the right thing in spite of all the extra work.

  • Piper


    You are fearlesser than you know, and braver and stronger than anyone – even YOU – could ever be!

    I thought about you today (which isn’t strange or uncommon btw, I just don’t usually tell you) I thought that I wished I had an ounce of you in me.

    Puppy schmuppy. Momo is a rockstar!

  • Corey~living and loving


    INDEED! What a great post. You are a rockin’ awesome mama!

    Thanks for the compliment over at my blog. I really made my day. I’m honored to have “met” you as well. 🙂

    have puppyriffic day!

  • Mrs4444


    Every boy needs a dog. I love that you got him one. It will affect him in ways you didn’t anticipate, and I look forward to reading about it.

  • AlisonH


    I wish my now-20-something kids had had a dog. My husband couldn’t be brought around to the idea. You are so lucky, headaches and housebreaking and puppychewing and all. And I love this post!

  • James


    Funny. My uncle actually owned a paraplane about 25 years ago when they first came out. He would fly the thing around the farm I grew up on and everybody thought he was nuts. They were correct. That and more than a bit of self medication.

    Nice message.

  • Rhea


    What a wonderful post! Have you seen the movie that just came out on DVD, Yes Man? It takes it to the extreme, of course, but it has the same message.

  • Aunt Debbi/kurts mom


    Always give a boy a dog.

  • the planet of janet


    i’m still not gonna jump out of a plane, but i totally get you here.

  • Always Home and Uncool


    Dogs aren’t risks. They are love affairs. Messy, expensive, fur-flying love affairs. God bless ’em.

    Happy Puppy!

  • Heather


    I love this. Puppies, while so much work, as SO ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT when they give kisses, cheer up, play with, and entertain kids for hours at time. Hell, I’m almost 25 and my dog is STILL my favorite source of entertainment!

    I think it was wonderful that you went for it– I can’t wait to read more about Daisy, I’m still jealous of you, puppy pee and all!

  • mrsmouthy


    Thanks for the reminder. I am slowly learning to apply the same lesson to my life. After losing my last baby it was scary to think of trying again, but I reminded myself that even though we don’t know what the future holds, we never have. Looking back, we’ve jumped off thousands of cliffs without knowing it, and all of them (yes, ALL of them) landed us in a better place than where we were before.

  • Ann in NJ


    And remember, when it comes to puppies and kids,

    Logic does not always apply.

  • anya


    Yes yes YES! Your son is worth it.

  • NukeDad


    Great post Momo. We had the same reservations when we got our puppy, so that’s why I made the executive decision and got 2. Buddy and Penny are great for each other, the kids love them to death and they’ve helped our sickly 14 year old lab regain a little youth. It’s been a win-win-win-win-win!

    And if ever there was a little boy in this world who deserved a puppy, it would be your boy. Great job, Mom! (This is the part where you pat yourself on the back)

  • LiteralDan


    Seize the day, seize the day, and don’t look back!

    Believe it or not, your story makes me wanna try that para-planing thing. I’ve seen them up in the sky before and always been intrigued.

  • meleah rebeccah


    Life really is way too short and tomorrow is promised to no one!

  • Jaina


    You’re right on. I’m glad you got the puppy 🙂

  • Reagan


    Awww, I’m so glad you did!!

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