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.