8.08.2011

RIDING THE SCARY RIDES AND OTHER THOUGHTS ON ADVENTURE

This is a sponsored post in reaction to Mom Life's Have You Lost Your Sense Of Adventure?


what would you say is the most adventuresome thing you've ever done? is what i asked myself tonight from the green armchair next to the fireplace at my parents house, where i am so adventuresomely vacationing for the week with my baby.

well, i said back to myself, didn't i just fly cross-country with my nine-month-old without any adult assistance?

only, i am not sure that counts, really.

so what about . . .

when i bravely got married at the baby-faced age of twenty. that took some kind of something! no?

when i bravely decided to make babies and then bravely faced down two years of infertility, only to bravely give birth without pain killers? maybe?

how about when i bravely put all of my most loved belongings into long-term storage, moved to new york city with just the clothes on my back and the husband on my arm, found an apartment in under 24 hours, and then started over from scratch?

okay okay, what about the time i rode splash mountain and--for the very first time--kept my eyes open all the way down.

i'm not terribly adventurous, is the truth of it. my personal brand of adventure is the adventure of the every day. i'd rather find adventure in the minutiae of the small and insignificant, which, when added up, amounts to a beautiful tapestry of adventure, and a rich, brave life. i love nothing more than a blank canvas of errands, or an afternoon of scrubbing, and then letting the furthest silly reaches of my imagination turn it into an epic quest of . . . some sort or another.

but maybe i only say that because i am a big fat chicken.

these days i am raising a feisty little boy. he is just learning to crawl. as i watch him test out his physical limits, rocking on his knees and reaching out just that much farther for a toy beyond his reach--an effort that may very well land him flat on his face--i realize that i owe this little boy all of the fearlessness i can muster. i owe him a really cool mom who's not afraid of anything. a mom who encourages his daredevil feats, and takes him on all the big boy rides. a mom who will take him on the adventure of a lifetime.

maybe adventure can take a lot of different forms. and maybe you'll never find me strapped to a bungee cord or rappelling down a mountain, or even riding a bicycle on any surface rougher than smooth pavement. but every day of our lives can be a new quest for adventure. and one of these days, i'll take my brown-eyed boy on the biggest, scariest ride at the park, and we will keep our eyes open.

all the way down.


18 comments :

  1. I stood in line for 25 minutes to ride the ferris wheel with my kids only to tell them right before we got on that I am afraid of heights and wouldn't be going with them.

    Now that's adventure.

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  2. I adore you Nat! Oh, and Huck too. :)

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  3. yeah, i think adventures happen everyday. and bravery is moving forward with our lives when aren't certain with the outcome. like with marriages, babies, new jobs, new cities. and every now and then something a little more like a roller coaster isn't too bad either ;)

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  4. Awww, Nat I love this post! I'm also not one for rappelling down mountains. Everyday life is enough of an adventure for me. I love your commitment to being a cool mom to your beautiful boy!

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  5. Ms. Natalie!

    I have been reading your blog for about a year and a half now. It all started when I had to create a science blog for field research in my junior year of high school, and one day, I decided to hit the "next" button (or whatever that button is), and then, I stumbled upon your blog. Your inspirational, quirky, insightful, funky, funny, Biblical, et cetera writing has made many of my days better, and has definitely made some classes at school better ;). So, I have never commented on your blog before, but I leave for college next week Monday! I can't believe it! This post could not have been published at a better time in my life. Thank you. Adventures are what make up life, but I agree that the minutiae of life is what makes it all the more profound. I am about to leave my mother (I am an only child) after 18 years. My mom has raised me, and she is my best friend. I hope and pray that these last six days will be an adventure before I venture into one of the biggest ventures: college.

    My dream one day--the ultimate adventure that I hope to live--is New York City. Although I have never been, I have been dreaming about life in the city since I was literally in fifth or sixth grade. The reality of living there in about four years thrills me. I hope to complete an internship there in the next two years. I am going to school for cultural anthropology, comparative literature, and museum studies, so the city would be the perfect place for interning! Your blog has been very insightful of city life, and I thoroughly enjoy all of the photos and videos you post of the city! You are definitely an adventuresome lady - even in your fashion choices, which I love.

    In summary, you have been a creative inspiration for me as I have been reading your blog, both in writing and life-living. Congratulations on your beautiful family; God is such an awesome God. Keep living for Him!

    Many, many blessings.
    In His palm,

    Hope

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  6. This was perfect for me to read today! My husband just took me hiking in yosemite and it was the hardest thing I have done (physically)... and I got hurt... but it was one of our greatest adventures!

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  7. Great post! I'm not really adventurous either, but when I put it all together cumulatively, I'm pretty darn accomplished!

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  8. that picture. is hurting me. HIS SMILE.

    and i never knew you were one of those "no drugs" mamas. that makes me love you even more! my dr. sister and mom have been preaching that to me from birth. they'd love you too.

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  9. my favorite post so far. thanks!

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  10. I think all of the things you mentioned were perfect examples of adventure! And that photo is so freakin adorable!

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  11. you will figure it out. i have and i'm not terribly adventurous. yet since my son has gotten older i have ridden rides that scared me, gone biking places i never would have dared, and done a myriad of other things that i never pictured myself doing. having kids makes us braver. we don't want them to be scared so we pretend to be fearless.

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  12. That was beautiful Natalie! Well said. I also got married young, at 22, and now am 24 with a 16 month old (maybe that's why I can relate so much to you! I love hearing from other young moms!)

    I feel the same way, as a stay at home mom my days seem pretty boring, but let me tell you, it is mentally challenging. I think I am finally becoming ok with the adventure in my life all being within my home. We are thinking of having a second kid, and oh my, what an adventure that will be.

    Shannon
    www.11thandshannon.com

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  13. you are an awesome mom just for being excited about the ride to come.

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  14. I raised one girl and three boys in Istanbul, of all places! Every Thursday during the summer was Adventure Day. We would choose somewhere to go and TRY and get there. We never knew whether or not we would make it with all the buses, taxis and walking we would have to do to get there. But the journey was half the fun! Adventurous mothering is all in the attitude. You can make anything adventurous with a little imagination. Your son (and ALL future children) is very blessed to have a mother with such insight!

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  15. Natalie, you are so pretty and HUCK IS THE CUTEST THING IVE EVER SEEN. I want to EAT HIM. He is not my baby, in fact I've never met him or you, (in case you didn't know who you and your baby have met) but when I see pictures of him I want to gnaw on his fat chubby knees and cheeks and tummy. I CANNNOT GET ENOUGH of how cute he is. It's criminal.

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  16. very sweet letter. i like your "personal brand of adventure".

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  17. i think you have it right. and i can't believe how courageous you have always been, i wish i wasn't such an insecure person - maybe i'd follow my dreams more often.

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  18. Oh, hands down the biggest bravery I've had to choke down was going back to work after being a stay at home mom for 10 years. Nothing like trying to be professional with toothpaste on your chin and a junk car. :)

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