I often engage in adventure travel with my son. While we enjoy museums and food tours, we are low-key adrenaline junkies and enjoy the occasional thrill.
We have zip-lined across the Zambezi River. We’ve ridden ATVs across the Sahara Desert and through a forrest in Chiang Mai. We’ve also flown in a helicopter to get a better view of Cape Town. We love snorkeling in the open ocean and riding roller coasters – the scarier the better!
When you become a parent, you’re often faced with the thought of something terrible happening to your child. One minute you can be watching your child be silly or minding your business washing dishes and the next minute a flash of a terrible accident crosses your mind, briefly paralyzing you with fear.
“If you are traveling with a small child or someone who needs your assistance, please put on your mask first before assisting others”.
For those of us who travel, we have heard these words more times than we can count. So much so, we rarely pay attention to them when we are on our flights. We are settling our kids in or sending those last few text messages or emails before the flight attendant walks by and asks us to turn off our electronics. We aren’t paying attention, but rather occupied with other things.
The boy is 13 years old.
Like, I have a WHOLE TEENAGER living in my house now. It’s so crazy to fathom.
How did I manage to keep this kid alive for so long? My plants barely survive.
Ya’ll ever have those moments? Where you see your kid grow up, but you don’t really see it happening. You just look up one day and be like “who is this grown ass man in my kitchen?!”
Sorry. I’m having a moment.
I received an email the other day from the boy’s school. It was the secretary asking me for permission to use this photograph from the spelling bee the school was participating in.
Of course I said hell yes!
I was so proud of him because just a few months prior, he came home one day upset and frustrated. Slammed his book bag down and stormed off to his room. I approached him, asking him what was the matter. He replied “I’m a horrible speller!” I asked him why he thought so and he pulled out a spelling test from school with red markings all over it. At the bottom: 4/20.
I also remember a couple of weeks after that, he burst into my office proudly waving his spelling test. But this time a perfect score. We went to eat at his favorite restaurant that evening to celebrate.
That night I received this email, I told him how proud I was of him. How much he had grown from this kid who questioned his abilities and potential because someone with a red pen decided that they knew best what he should know right now. That now he not only had the courage to compete, but landed a spot in the news as a result of his courage. He just gave me an “awww, mom!” and happily ate dinner. But I was one proud mama.
I was always told by my grandmother that pennies will eventually add up to a dollar, if you just find the value in each one. I celebrate these small moments with him, because one day I know they will add up to some really awesome an amazing.
Just like this kid.