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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Being a Brave Mama Like a Brave Kid


Do you know Jen Hatmaker? Not, like personally know (although if you do, I’d love an introduction sometime), but know who she is? I’ve only known about her for less than a year. However, it seems as if she was a missing puzzle piece of input for my life.

Reading 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess has changed my thinking on a daily basis. Much of the issues in the book were already part of me, but so many other areas were brand new. If you haven’t read it, I strongly encourage you to do so. I’m not saying that you have to follow it like a prescription, for that matter neither did she, it’s just a good eye-opener.


The Olympics were made complete by here live tweetcasting throughout various events. Swimming, diving, gymnastics, you name it; I was cheering and laughing and scoffing right along with her – often with tears streaming down my cheeks. If I can give you one piece of twitter advice it is this: Follow @JenHatmaker for all major live televised events!

Enough about her. Well, one more thing. Today Jen wrote about brave parents raising brave kids and I got to thinking. I think about how I am raising my son and how I was raised. Frankly, I’m a little ticked off at this fallen world that has dampened my experiences that are shareable. I don’t mean shareable in the telling way, but the doing!

I grew up in a rural area, but right off a major highway that travels the height of this country from New Orleans to the Canadian border at the tip of Lake Champlain. When I say right off, I mean that’s where our driveway ended. We stood beside it and waited for school buses, we crossed it to play at friends’ houses, we walked beside it to go play video games and buy candy at the store down the road – BY OURSELVES! We weren’t 5 or 6 year olds doing this, but we were in elementary school.

My friends and I learned how to shoot firearms from our parents. One dad taught us how to shoot a bow and arrow. I learned pretty early on that I am a fairly good shot. Side note: this horrified one of the assistant VPs at my university that I worked for who had never even held a gun – he was from a Boston suburb.

We played outside constantly. We would play in the woods in the summer time until it was dark and the kitchen lights in the house helped us find our way back. We swung on vines from the rocks below the road 15’ in the air. Once my sister fell off. She survived. We all did.

Our bikes and roller skates gave us endless hours of competition. Who could jump the farthest, go downhill the fastest, then uphill the highest with no hands, pop a wheelie the longest. Then there was the ramp! We built a ramp to sit at the bottom of our side yard and the end of the flat stretch above the next little drop off. My dad came home one day to see me flying through the air on my purple single speed with the banana seat. I was probably 11. I got a huge bruise on the inside of my right leg from the pedal when I landed, but I stuck it. AND I SURVIVED – we all did – without helmets or knee pads.

Old Print ad - we had the racing version on the left. Source unknown


My sister and I owned two of the original Snurfers. A neighbor that worked for Brunswick in Marion, VA where they manufactured the crazy thing. If mountain bikes had been around we probably would be X-Games legends!

This is all to say that I want crazy adventure for my little guy. I want him to concoct crazy plans and schemes – and then pull them off spectacularly! I want him to have a story about that time that he and his friends….. whatever.

I have cool scars, and like Mater, I don’t want them gone because I earned them. Some in ridiculously clumsy ways – most actually. But they are life markers that remind me I’ve been brave in my life.

I want to be a brave mama. It will probably leave me a little scarred, but it will leave a legacy that I can hopefully pass along.

I’ve had plenty of fear. You know what? Fear doesn’t give you any stories to tell, or to share, or to redo. It may keep you safe, but when are we ever called to be safe?

Were you brave once? YOU SURVIVED! How are you trying to be brave now?

1 comment:

  1. Love this!! In fact I have a scar on my ankle when I lived in Virginia with my mom and I rode a bike down a hill on the handle bars, haaaa!!! She was so mad. I am being brave with God's grace and help by sharing my story!! GULP!! and maybe this summer I'll dive off a diving board but I am not making any promises!!

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