TWITTER: @sirbacon123

01 May 2010

Extreme Makeover

For those of you that have read my blog since Day 1 (or even Day 11), you know that I am Jewish.
And other than perhaps some of my rebellious brethren from the good book, this just in, Jews don’t hunt.
Or fish.
Or camp.
Ok, maybe some do, but I don’t.
Don’t blame me, it was the way I was raised.
I was also raised that there is nothing more important than family and now as the parent of three, there is nothing more important than the kids.
I guess that explains why I just went on a three-day camping retreat with my daughter’s school.
To some of you diehards, it may not have been camping by definition, but the combination of mountains, cabins, sleeping bags and 56 seventh graders, qualifies for me.
In plain and simple english, it was a GREAT time.
Great father/daughter bonding time.
Great getaway from the real world time.
Great time.
This is the second straight year that I’ve been a chaperone on this school trip.   Last year we went to one part of our state.  This time we went to another.
The days are filled with a bunch of activities from orienteering to canoeing to hiking. 
Did I mention that I was Jewish?
On Day 1, I pretty much played spectator, watching the kids climb up a bunch of trees, with a harness of course, and then proceed to do things I would never consider.  
Not even when I was 13.
My daughter asked me to try it.  I turned her down.
The instructor offered.  I declined.
My daughter said puh-leeeeeeeeze.   I said, no thank you.
Just like I did last year.
And like last year, I couldn’t have felt more guilty.   Other parents were doing it, just not me.  
Talk about middle school peer pressure.
I was somewhere between really nervous and really not interested.  Honestly, probably more of the second, but still plenty of the first.
I had no interest in walking across a tight rope about 30 feet above the ground.
I had no interest in pulling myself up a series of six wooden planks, each plank about five feet higher than the previous one.
And I had ABSOLUTELY no interest in doing “the leap of faith”, where you climb 20 feet up a tree to a wooden platform that you then jump off of into mid-air, hoping that your rope and harness do their job.
You can call me any name in the book, but it wouldn’t hurt more than the guilt I was feeling for letting my daughter down.
I apologized.
Like I did last year.
She said it was no big deal.
Like she did last year.  
But you and I know better.
I don’t know if I was the only parent to take a pass, but I do know that I was the only parent that mattered to my daughter.
But give her credit, she NEVER made me feel bad.  I did it all on my own.
Day two was all about indoor rock-climbing.  On a beautiful wall, more than 40 feet high.
Another sport I’ve never really thought much about.
I sat there for nearly 90 minutes watching the kids go up and down the wall, side to side, having a blast.
With just a short time left in the session, the instructor turned to me.
But before she could get the question out, I said, “YES,” without one ounce of hesitation.
Why?  I have no idea.
I guess I realized that enough was enough.
Did I want to climb up a rock wall?   N to the O.
But unlike this blog, it was not all about me.
As I squeezed my size 11 feet into the size ten shoes, the biggest they had, I took a glance across the room at my daughter’s face.
She was somewhere between excited and scared to death.
By this point, she had about zero percent faith in my ability to be an extreme athlete.
And why would she?  I’d never even tried before.
Until now.
I jumped into my harness and headed to the wall.
Putting one foot in front of the other, I went from 0-40 feet in about forty seconds.  
A world record, probably not.
A Jewish record, perhaps.
Either way, to see the smile on my daughter’s face was all worth it.
For the first time in two years, my daughter’s dad was not a wuss.
Bungee jumping, here I come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After reading this entry and a few others I have come to one conclusion:

Your kids are adopted

Your oldest daughter can dance. You son can play baseball. You youngest daughter can play soccer.

And now we read this about you. No doubt about it - you are NOT the father of these kids :-)