There is nothing more beautiful then watching a child come in to their own courage and sense of adventure. We have never pushed the boys out in to the world beyond what they were comfortable with. To the outside world it may have looked like over protection, sheltering or the raising of shy children but this was far from the truth. We were in fact just waiting for their courage to blossom, while keeping their intuition in check and for the right passions to come along.
For my oldest son the passion was hockey. He had loved the game for quite some time but never wanted to play. It was enough to gather the gear, watch the game and play in the driveway. And then one day he said “I wanna play hockey.” So we signed him up for hockey skate and then there right in front of my eyes an entire bouquet of courage materialized for my big boy. He talked about the overwhelming feelings in his body. The aches in his tummy and the thoughts in his head. We listened and likened them to times when our own bodies had done the very same thing. I shared that I knew it was when I was doing something super bold when my body got the feeling it wanted to flee. He always had the option to leave. His desire, his passion, kept him on the ice. He did hard things, encountered numerous brand new situations and fell back in to our arms with questions and concerns. All the while growing his own sense of adventure.
I thought my youngest would take longer to find something that was worthy of pulling him in to relationship with someone he had only just met. He is a most determined spirit who is certain he will never set foot in to any space or place where someone else is going to tell him what or how to do anything. And then it happened, without warning he did a most courageous thing and I had to fight to contain the enthusiasm that begged to spill out over the entire incident and spoil it. We went looking for a new skateboard. When we arrived at skate shop we discovered there was a build your own board option. This was appealing and he looked at me with wide eyes and nodded that this was what we would do. We picked the deck. I needed to dash to the car and so my son waited in the shop on a bench. When I walked back in he was standing at the counter talking to Danny. Now this is a boy who asked me to have a shirt made that read “back off I don’t talk to strangers” so people would leave him be when we were out and about. He was there discussing different truck options with a stranger. My heart might have exploded a little but I maintained my cool, so important to the success of him being him in the world. He picked out the wheels and the bearings. And then things got even more magical. Part way through Danny looked up and said “hey can you help me? I need some help.” My son confidently, without hesitation walked up to Danny’s side and learned out to insert bearings in to wheels in order to build a skateboard. He learned the terms for each part of the board. He participated. He found a mentor worthy of his attention and trust and leaped right in for a courageous adventure.
This journey with my boys has been built on an unwavering trust that what we are doing, in putting our relationship up front, is the best possible option. Now as they are stretching in to the just a little bit older years, I am bearing witness to the evidence that this choice was the most perfect one. To see my children fully connected to their own intuition, finding the mentors and activities that they want to stretch way outside of their comfort zone in to all the while inviting me to witness this blossoming is far grander then any worry that kept me awake at night. It makes me beyond excited for what these young adventurers will do with the rest of this one unique life they have to live.