The first activity after settling in our tents, was the ‘ropes course’. First was crossing the “Burma Bridge’ and then going on the ‘flying fox’ (in India) –or ‘flying squirrel’ as they call it in the US.
I’ve never done either one of these before, but Mark has taken his students to a place like this back in Portland, to do with them as a team building exercise.
We walked down a little from the tent area and we were in the forest. The guide explained to us what all the equipment we needed for safety (helmet, harness, carabiner) and then he picked a few kids to go first. He picks Lucas and he’s ready to go.
I wasn’t so sure about him trying it. He seemed very young, and he was the youngest in the trip. Also, I’ve never seen this ropes course before… I just thought he shouldn’t do it. I looked at Mark, I bet with a ‘mother look’ full of fear, because he just tells me “he’ll be OK.”
And yes, Lucas was OK with it, and was excited to do this.
He was so very excited to do it. I thought maybe he doesn’t know what he’s getting into. Wishing, he’d back out of it.
But no. No matter how many times I looked, he was very excited, as well as his friends.
I kept looking at Lucas giving him the look of a mother saying “it’s OK if you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to”… wishing he wouldn’t want to do it anymore.
I am so proud of him. He went ahead and did it. He crossed the small cliff by walking on this bridge made out of ropes.
I am on the other side of the bridge with my heart in my throat, but at the same time, saying encouraging words… is that something us parent have to learn just by having kids?
Letting him go and letting my fears go.
I did not want to share with him (or Siena) any of my fears. They were just mine, to be kept in silence, this time (and shared a little with Mark.)
He did it, and he did it just fine, and had so much fun while doing it. Lucas was so proud of himself.
And I was too!
Look at this little big boy of mine… he just grew up in front of my eyes in those few minutes.
Usually is Siena the one doing all these activities first, just because she’s older has done more things ‘first’. But we had never had the chance to do an exercise like this together as a family. It was great to see Lucas go ahead with what he wanted to do, and having him try something new before everyone else.
And here he was telling Siena that she should do it, that it wasn’t that hard, and that he thought she’d really like it. You can tell by his voice and by his face he was very proud to have done it and be able to comfort Siena before her first try.
I was proud of him. We all were.
My heart in my throat again, beating hundreds per second.
These moments I will never forget. A face I saw in everyone after crossing the bridge. A face telling it all. A face with a huge smile, a sigh of relief and everyone, everyone so proud of themselves.
All these young boys, 10 to 12 years old, for many it was their first camping trip, by themselves with no parents to help them get out of this if they wanted to, but with teachers and friends helping, cheering them on when it was their turn.
And me, how lucky I was to be right there on this side of the bridge to see their faces as they finished and got off the ropes. Their hearts beating loud enough that I could almost hear it. And their faces, their bodies completely filled with pride.
I will never forget these moments I was able to witness. I am so lucky.
Here goes Siena. She’s ready and excited.
And I had to let it go… again.
Courageous words is all I found.
Siena is so proud of herself.
I am too.
So very proud. We all were, again. And then they go to the next thing. The ‘Flying Fox.’
More letting go on my part.
Siena had been talking to Mark. Lean back so you can get more speed!
And Lucas did a few of these ‘Flying Fox’ runs because he loved it so much.
And I had to let it go once more.
And Lucas talked me into doing it too.
I had to let go of my fears too. It was OK. I didn’t fall, and it was fun, but I don’t think I’d do it again…
It was a beautiful morning, and I will never forget the air filled with pride by everyone, and my lesson once again, of letting go.