Last night, I did the last thing anyone who knows me would ever expect me to do. I dove into a pond, fully clothed and swam across it. Why? To experience it. I did have some motivation. I'm part of a MOMS Club and every year we do this thing called the Amazing Race. Last night, the pond was our final task. If it had just been me having to do, I would have said forget it, but I had a team mate relying on me. I did it for her, but it ended up being for me. Now, it's not something I would probably repeat, but it's not something I'm scared of anymore.
It's really kind of funny because said partner was also a first for me "experiencing" life earlier this summer. One night, she called me up because her husband wasn't home yet. She needed me to look at a bug in her daughter's hair. Again, anyone who knows me would NEVER think I would go within ten feet of a bug. This time, I hopped in my car and was pulling a tick out of her daughter's head in no time. Yup, a tick. Not just any old bug. When I got home, my husband couldn't believe I would do such a thing (he also didn't believe I jumped in a pond, but there were pictures to prove it!). You know what? I lived.
I started thinking about all the risks I don't take. I started thinking about all the things I don't do. Then I started thinking of how it's affecting my children. I hate to walk barefoot in the grass if it's too high because it bothers my ankles. My daughter won't walk in the grass with sandals on because the grass touches her feet. I scream like a little girl when I see most bugs. Monster freaks when he sees bugs. I hate being dirty. Both my kids ask permission before playing in the dirt because they know I don't like it. Monster asks if something stains before eating it.
How did I let this go so far? How did I not see that I'm stopping my kids from experiencing things? Don't get me wrong, my kids explore the world, probably a lot more than other children, but they're missing out on things that make them KIDS. Dirt is part of childhood. Catching fireflies and putting them in jars. Biting into a big juicy strawberry right from the plant without worry of stains. So, I'm going to try to do better. I'm going to try to experience more and worry less. Well, maybe just experience more. Either way, I'm going to stop watching the world go by and join in.