Don’t Let Fear of Looking Foolish Stop You
Glassy highrise buildings slipped past, mirroring the sky. Parallel-parking beside joggers and bicyclists at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, we piled out of the car, carrying roller blades, a folded stroller, and a brown paper bag of hot bagels.
On our last days of vacation– this segment of the “stay-cation”–we were all intentionally making family memories and savoring these last few days of normal. The last few weeks of having John here with us before he moved to college. The last few weeks of summer, and the last few days of relaxed family time. Strolling past the rose gardens, we joked and sniffed occasional buds, noticing how fast the weeds grew here too. Groundskeepers in tan shirts gouged out fast-growing weeds and scrambled to keep up with passing time.
After the cherubim fountain and the spitting turtle fountain, my broad-shouldered college-bound John raced across the grass to climb a tree, charmed by its low-hanging branch. Mark handed five-year old Daniel up, entrusting him to John, and swung up after them.
“Wow, Dad! I didn’t know you could climb trees!” my daughter cried.
“What? I’m not that old. I can climb trees,” Mark asserted (several times that day).
My daughter joined him, swinging up with a bit of help, and perching beside them.
“C’mon, Mom, let’s all go up!”
For all my talk of loving to climb trees, it had still been a long time since I had swung up into one this size. Jumping up, my hands only slipped off the smooth bark again.
“I’m too short. My hands can’t get a grip.” I laughed and complained. They urged me, good-naturedly teasing me and trying to spite me into success. Laughing, jumping, and falling, I stood barefoot in the grass looking up at them.
“My shirt will gap open! Sorry, it’s not a good tree-climbing shirt.” I worried.
“John, don’t look for a sec,” Mark advised. Handing Daniel to the kids, he jumped down, and hoisted me up. I scrambled ungracefully to his shoulders, scooted up from there, and grabbed on to the branch, shrieking and giggling. My oldest nearly fell off the tree in silent laughter.
Finally, we were all there, six feet off the ground, grabbing onto the weathered bark of the branch. Wrapping ankles together for balance, I reassured Daniel that we were fine, and Mark set up the camera for our family photo.
Happy August 12th to you, friend! Kids around the nation start school this week, others start in a few weeks, and my son moves onto his college campus soon.
Savor today. Savor your family and friends. Climb trees, look silly, laugh hard, and build family memories. What crazy or fun thing have you done this week? I love hearing from you.
Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose.