A Group of People

Living through my child by @kelmar4

In fear of dying, helicopters, Karen Mares, parents on June 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm

By Karen Mares

Sunday was a day that we spent with friends. It started off like an ordinary Sunday, with plans to take advantage of the wineries that we have practically in our backyard. This time was a little different, though, because both of the couples, SubHub and I, bestie and her hubs, brought our kids with us.

I know, wine tasting with children. Either we’re crazy or we’re crazy. We kept our itinerary flexible, and made sure to agree that if somebody started freaking out, no worries on bailing out.

So, at the last winery of three, there was this idyllic spot with a field, a big lonely tree, and a tire swing.

We let the kids play at this one for quite awhile, and at one point we saw a helicopter come in and land in the field. The kids were fascinated by it.

Flash forward to Bestie and I striking up a conversation with the pilot while we were waiting for the round of potty stops to be done. He offers to take three of us back to the local airport in the helicopter for the price of a tip.

Ok, so here’s where I get to wax philosophic on you.

My entire life, my parents, in an effort to protect me, instilled fear in me. I can think of many incidents where I didn’t follow my dream, do something I really wanted to do, or talked myself out of something a little risky (healthy risk, mind you) because I could hear one of them running through a litany of reasons why NOT.

For example, I was asked to go on a small Cessna-type plane when I was in college. It was a gorgeous day and we were planning on flying around Mt. Rainier. (What Mt. Rainier looks like) My mom called, worst timing ever, and I spilled the beans. She commenced with talking me out of it by telling me that small planes explode, the pilots don’t know what they’re doing, and she begged me not to go.

I didn’t go.

Last year, I had a road trip planned to Seattle (a three hour drive for me), to meet some friends for a girl’s weekend. My father called me and repeatedly asked if he could buy me a plane ticket because he was afraid of me driving alone. I’m FORTY-ONE YEARS OLD, kids. I finally, at that moment, had the guts to tell him, “Dad, I can’t be so afraid of dying that I don’t live.”

Flash forward to Sunday. Here’s this pilot asking if we would like to go in the helicopter – something I KNOW my loving parents would think was an unnecessary risk. Make no mistake – they loved me and provided me with everything. I love them and thank them dearly for it. But being afraid to do anything isn’t something I want to pass on to my own kids.

Things happened quickly after that, but I knew that Girl Child needed to go. I wanted to watch – not experience it myself. Deep down I knew I needed to let HER experience it. Bestie took Girl and her daughter in the helicopter.

I watched her take off in the helicopter, not even looking back, and I knew I had changed something not only with HER, but with me. I gave her permission to live.

I know that I changed OUR trajectory that day. I want her to fly, not keep her on the ground because of my own fear.

Also? Your turn next, buddy.

He was SO bummed that it wasn’t his turn.

Please visit Karen’s blog by clicking here.
Follow Karen on Twitter here —>@kelmar4

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  1. I really enjoyed reading your post. I don’t have children yet, but I worry that I will be overprotective of them when I do because, well, I’m a worrier! My dad gave me a hug when I went off to college and told me to “go have adventures” and I did. I hope that I can follow his example and raise my own children that way. Great reading:)

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