I received schooling in fear last night.
The pony PG rides loves speed, jumping and has attitude to spare. The two are a perfect match. Lately, though, the attitude wafting off the 4-legged one has begun to wear thin on me. A mother watching from the sidelines can only handle so many bucks and bolts.
As PG trotted around the perimeter of the arena during one of her regular training rides, Sparkle (who is not as cutesy and sparkly as her name implies), decided rearing straight up on her hind legs would be fun. I almost died. And then a lot of s!!t, f**k and putain de merde flew from my mouth. As any parent can attest, it’s one thing to be in harm’s way yourself, but another to watch helplessly as your child risks injury.
I don’t know how PG stayed on. No one watching did, but the kid has Velcro on her ass and hands. And she never lost her cool. As soon as that pony was back on four legs PG was all over her and there was no mistaking who was El Bosso. There was never a thought of hopping off, or that she wouldn’t continue her training. She smiled happily and kept control of her pony for the remainder of the hour. PG emulates what she sees, and the older riders are tough and persistent.
When I spoke with her afterwards she admitted to 10 seconds of shakiness following the joy ride. 10 seconds? Kid, I would have peed my pants. In fact, I may have done so just watching.
By all rights an eight year-old should have been terrified. She wasn’t. That was my lesson. If the joy or desire that drives us is great enough, a little fear won’t stop us.
Somewhere along the way that belief gets lost. We’re taught to be cautious and watch every step. That extreme caution starts to hobble us physically and mentally, but the illness is reversible.
My cure has come in the form of my children and my friends. D and I encourage the kids to try new things and it doesn’t take much for them to want to push boundaries. I can’t be all do what I say not I what I do so I make sure Bou and PG see me pushing past scary limits as often as possible. And my friends? They’re crazy enough to try anything and I love that about them.
PS. Never fear, the fearless rider is still a kid. This morning her blood-curdling scream had me taking the stairs two at a time to battle the demon hordes of flies swarming her in the shower. By hordes read one teeny fruit fly.
PPS. Next up, I want to try trapeze class and I’m pretty sure I’ve conned convinced a few people to come along for the ride.
PPPS. Either I’m being super wise or having a midlife crisis.