I have never made a regular hobby out of my thrill seeking tendacies. But I was never one to shy away from any oppurtunity either. I’ve enjoyed white water rafting, rock climbing, riding motorcycles and four wheelers. I love that kind of stuff. I even looked into sky diving a few years ago but thought better of it since I didn’t want to risk potentially leaving my children orphans.
I love doing those kind of thrill seeking activities because they challenge me to get out of my comfort zone. Those experiences made me feel alive in ways everyday life just didn’t. That was until I had children.
I have come to realize that the most extreme experience I have ever embarked on was deciding to have kids. I started young too. My first was born when I was only 22 years old, practically a baby myself. My husband and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into but honestly no parent does. We were in love and wanted a family so badly we didn’t even wait a hot minute. Grace was born just three weeks after our one year wedding anniversary. I’ll never forget that day and the first year or barely sleeping, lots of walks, and lots of grocery store runs with my little bundle in tow. We made some trips with her, applauding ourselves for going any place more than 30 minutes away from home with a newborn.
Grace wasn’t even a year old when we moved into a tiny two bedroom house near my in-laws. We were already outgrowing the place before Gracie became a big sister one month after her second birthday. I will never forget the moment our two girls met for the first time. Now our adventure was really in full swing. We’ve moved a lot and added two more monkeys to our bunch and to make it more interesting our youngest two are only sixteen months apart. You could say I have my hands full especially during these long summer days.
I came to the realization that parenting really is the ultimate extreme sport. It’s messy with the constant diaper changes, potty training and attempting to keep the house in order every day. It’s scary because you have to literally keep yourself and other tiny humans alive. Not to mention the terrifying moments you may experience with them. Our second born has had a few medical scares that my heart still hasn’t recovered from. I held her in my arms as she had a seizure while screaming and crying at my husband to call 911. That memory won’t ever fade. After that I think bungee jumping would feel like a damn picnic. Trying to take them to the park is like running a damn tough mudder. You’re racing around and often have to climb the various playground attractions to help somebody get down a slide without catapulting themselves head first into the ground. It’s a hot mess at best.
The real reason parenting is the ultimate extreme sport though is that it challenges you every single day to be better than you were the day before. You have to give your kids you’re best everyday even when you just don’t have it in you. You have to read that story again for the 500th time or let them watch their favorite movie over and over because they just love it. You have to listen to their non stop repetitive questions that will almost make your ears bleed. Oftentimes getting them to sit and eat their dinner feels like your herding kittens. You’ve got to make sure they follow the rules, play nice and are happy. You have to work hard to teach them the faith and be kind to every person they meet. Longterm you don’t want them ending up in jail.
You’ve got to fight everyday to make sure you can do this with a smile on your face. The days are long but the years are short. Before you know it they’ll be all grown up. Meanwhile you have the thrill of watching them take their first steps, say their first word, ride their bike, tie their shoes and write their name. Their excitement is your excitement and their accomplishment is your joy.
Personally, I struggle with the mundane details of the everyday. I long for more exciting and thrilling adventures. But those moments aren’t what I really live for. I’m learning to live for the moments where my kids are playing nicely together and I can get a glimpse of the persons I hope they will become.
I pray that I can do my best everyday for these tiny humans and that they realize I love them more than life itself. I may not ever catapult myself out of a helicopter or run a marathon but I still am wearing my yoga pants most days because I have a race to run where at the finish line the reward is more love and joy than I could ever imagine or deserve.