The Other Me.
My children don’t really know her. I had forgotten about her until the other week when we went on a family adventure. My daughter’s birthday, we decided to keep it simple with just the four of us. Willow wanted to do the tree climb at a local fun park. They all wore these cheeky grins when I agreed to come along, like they knew something I didn’t. They had after all experienced the tree climb once before.
The kids jumped around excited that I was keen to come along. Mum usually sat on the beach or the sidelines waving at them and reading a book. Not this time. They warned me it was no easy feat and a bit scary. Especially if the wind picked up. I can tell you I was a tad nervous yet I pretended everything was fine. But I had a secret. My kids had not met the other me, the adventurous one before marriage and babies.
On arrival we lathered ourselves in sunscreen and drank gallons of water in ready for a hot day. I listened carefully to the safety talk, our trusty guides joked with us as they strapped us into our gear. My boy took to the ladder first, like a monkey chasing the last banana at feeding time. Then Pete followed him, up higher and higher with little effort. Willow smiled at me. I know she was checking to see if my knees were knocking. They were but I tried to look calm. She waved, then set off up into the sky towards the first platform.
My turn. I will remind the readers I have not attempted anything this physical in a long while. But I thought about my years as a backpacker, all the different challenges I set myself. One step after another and using my yoga breath I found myself at the tops of the canopy. I will admit the ladder climb is one of the most challenging parts of the course, just don’t look down. My heart was thumping wildly but I smiled and waved at the kids like I had climbed it one hundred times before.
Foggy memories. The other me abseiling down a mountain cliff, came flooding back. As I attached myself for the ride of my life, I reminded the older me I had experienced much worse. I heard the kids cheering me on as I flew across the park on the flying fox. “Go Mum!”
It felt amazing.
The other me would have been fearless on the ropes and steps of the course. The other me was much younger, blonde and in prime condition. Shaken at first, slowly I gained confidence being up so high. I was thankful for the many weeks of yoga. My upper body strength was not brilliant, but I managed. Climbing nets, stepping across swinging polls and walking on thin cables.
When you reach the end they warned me there is a drop down to a small mat, way down below. Instead of thinking about it, I thought about a sky dive, a tandem jump I did in my thirties. No fear there.
I wondered why I had changed so much after children. How did I become this safe and boring person. You definitely change when you become a mother. Maybe a bit too serious at times, due to being the discipline police with little ones. Well I’m happy to say, now the children are almost both teens the other me has found her way back. In the last couple of months we have been active, embracing life. Bike riding, walking, using a paddle ski at the beach and now tree climbing. Where will we go next?
When I reached the platform I looked down at my tiny family below, waving up at me. I connected my link to the pulley and jumped, no hesitation. I knew the safety harness and the pulley would slow my decent for a soft landing. The drop was so much fun.
Pete commented at how I jumped off without a thought. I smiled and thanked the universe for all the amazing adventures the other me had experienced. It was cool to see my children look at me in a different light. My only regret is we did not get any photos. In the rush of adrenaline I said yes to doing it all again for my son’s birthday in July. Then I heard they are making a black course which will be even more challenging. Oh well I will have to ask the other me if she is available on that day.
When have you surprised your kids and shown them another side of you? I would love to hear about it.