The question caught me a bit off guard as I haven’t really ever been asked that. I paused and then blurted out something completely raw and honest. ‘Well, I made it another year keeping them alive!’
He began to chuckle but then stopped once he realized I was actually pretty serious. And then made it more awkward by saying ‘I’ve never had a parent say that to me.’
Oh lovely. So what is wrong with me?
I began trying to explain myself – my boys are crazy. No fear. I grew up with all girls. We colored and played barbies. B has a four wheeler. L has a motorcycle. Why does my four year old have a four wheeler. B just flung himself off a mountain zip lining. I wanted to pass out. In a racing Gallatin river, instead of standing on the side watching it L had to basically FORGE across the slippery rocks. Why, why, WHY?
The doctor stopped me and then said something that hit home. ‘Courtney, it only gets worse. ‘No fear’ boys don’t magically change. It all comes down to you as a mom of how you handle how you feel about it. And I’m sensing you feel out of control.’
No. I wouldn’t go that far. My boys may be fearless but at the end of the day I could make the decision to take away some factors. But motherhood, especially to these two boys, did come with a sense of fear that I was 100% not prepared for. A lot of it simply boils down to the love you have for them, right? It can be terrifying, at least to me. As a parent you can only control so much of what happens to your child, and that other 50% or so is all (gulp) them. Or, even more terrifying, luck or fate. It’s that out of control part that, when I truly dig down and think about it, makes it hard to breathe.
I will never forget our zip lining experience with the boys. M calls up the company and of course the age requirement is five but B, at three, hit the height and weight requirements so off we went. Fantastic. There was a group of ten with two guides and the first half hour was spent explaining rules and equipment and how it all went down. B was in his serious mode. He knew something awesome was about to happen and he was super intense about it all, listening to every word and not saying a thing. Gearing up he just looked so….little. What on earth were we doing?
The next part of it all was the hike up, about twenty minutes or so straight up the mountain. Again, not a word was uttered by B (unlike chatty L) and he did every step of the way on his own. We finally reached the course and L was up first. He hopped right up on the wooden board, I made the guide triple check his ropes while refusing to look at the 70 ft drop, and after just a slight hesitation off Logan went. Whew, he made it in one piece.
Next up was B. I was there for simply moral support (no way was I flinging myself off a mountain!). I kept thinking he’d turn back to me, scared, and wanting to go back down. I barely had time to ask the guide to triple check his gear as the kid just jumped off with the biggest smile possible on his face. Every instinct in me wanted to reach out for him but this is Beckett. This is Logan. And even though a big part of me wanted to throw up, another big part of me was happy and celebrating that they could just be completely themselves without anyone holding them back. It was a huge reminder for me that the chaos and fear and craziness that these two boys bring me also comes with a huge side of something absolutely wonderful to celebrate. What kid does that at three years old? My fear from it all slowly shifted to being proud of who he was and what he has already done in this world. It was a huge reminder for me, as their mom, to accept it rather than fight it. Because like the pediatrician said, they aren’t changing. But how I can view them can.
So bring on the crazy. The metal bats and four wheelers and motorcycles and zip lining and tackle football and hiking through the Gallatin river together. I can’t say I can always be calm about it all (or even keep up!) but I can try my best to celebrate the adventure these two crazy boys bring in to my life.