(Why I’m glad that this is our year for adventure,
and grateful that not every year HAS to be)
AJ and Roy neither one walked until they were 18 months old. I had never even heard of a child walking that late until these two came along. Ace, our eldest child, was running by 11 months, so I was more than perplexed when our next 2 were a whole 7 months behind that. When AJ did finally start walking she could already say, “I’m walking!” and “I love popcorn!” Ya, she was speaking in full sentences before she was officially bipedal. Ace, the same brother who was so ahead in the walking game said little more than “Show!” (TV- his electronic crush since birth:) until he was almost 3.
Walking, talking, and a slew of other skills and desires diversify our kids. Some of them are self proclaimed foodies while others struggle mightily every. single. night. to choke down chicken and rice. While one of them is especially organized and tidy, another makes it easy to guess what he ate for lunch that day based on the food smears across his shirt and pants.
On our recent trip to Bryce Canyon, AJ, who is fearless with heights, grabbed a hold of Roy, who struggles getting up on a step stool without feeling woozy, and pulled him near the edge of a cliff to “see the view!” Roy’s heart just about leapt out of his chest, and as he threw himself in reverse, he started sobbing, believing his 9 years of life on earth had just flashed before his eyes.
Later that night, on a sketch pad provided by the hotel, he wrote me a little note that made me think, and chuckle...“Never go nere a cliff,” it said. It occurred to me that while I’m glad that AJ has the fearless desire to stand close to edges, I’m also grateful and respectful of the fact that not everyone HAS to. And this made me think how glad I am that some people know how to fix car engines, and run restaurants, and sing operas, and how grateful I am that not everyone HAS to.
This trip is our family’s way of being brave and vulnerable for a year, but it’s not every family’s way. Many families build courage and grit without ever leaving their city. Others have tenacity and strength cast upon them as they are forced to push through illnesses or other hardships. The truth is that we Kjars are a pretty comfort-seeking crew, and unless pushed or self-propelled into adventure, we tend to want to hang back, and “never go nere a cliff.”
But not this year. This year we jump. This year we are pushed. This year we will experience growth like never before. And we’ll mess up, and we’ll have cranky days, and boring days, and some super awesome days as well. And all the while we’ll be glad that this is our year for adventure, and we’ll be grateful that not every year HAS to be!