Last night the intrepid Mountain Men, Daniel and his friend, Elijah packed up their ditty bags and camping supplies to usher in the New Year under the stars.
“It’s going to be cold tonight!” I admonished.
Daniel was undaunted as packed the vital supplies a Mountain Man needs: instant coffee (No, Sheryl, I never drink the stuff, it’s for my cappuccino muffin recipe), cereal, brown sugar for the coffee. Brown sugar?
“I couldn’t find the white sugar,” Daniel said with a crooked grin. Ah. He had looked, as we say in our house, like a man looks, for the prominently placed sugar which is in a canister the size of an iceberg.
“It’s going to be cold,” I said. Weather lady said high in the 20′s.
Daniel and Elijah pulled their light jackets on over their tee-shirts. “Oh, we’ll be fine,” their heads bobbling up and down in the affirmative. They were going to have a nice warm fire, they said.
“It’s going to be…” I stopped myself. I was doing the one of the worst things a mom can do. I was blocking the path to an important education. I was trying to prevent, from my perspective anyway….their making a mistake.
It’s a mother’s instinct to protect her babies but the truth is, if hung on to for too long….it is detrimental to the kid.
I shut my mouth and watched the Mountain Men disappear into the wilds of the backyard. Since there were no Sherpas available to help them with their supplies, they rode Daniel’s riding lawn mower off into the horizon. I felt a lump in my throat and my heart swelled with pride as I heard the decrescendo of the four stroke engine fade away. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong. It’s bittersweet watching your boy become a man.
Within an hour, the rumble of the lawn mower filled the air.
“It was cold,” they chattered. Daniel tossed the Ziplocked provisions onto the counter. Elijah fished a a bushel of “Jolly Ranchers” and empty wrappers from his pocket and tossed them onto the table. “Do you have any Pepto?” he asked in a green-ish sort of voice.
Conditions at the bivouac were a bit tougher than they had imagined. They had no choice than to return to base camp. The world’s record for expeditions were safe for another year.
I hope this year I do a better job of allowing my kids to make mistakes. To be like Edison, who once told a worker who was frazzled down by a difficult experiment, “Shucks, we haven’t failed. We now know a thousand things that won’t work.”
Or to be like Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad and multimillionaire who said, if given the opportunity to overhaul our education system would, “…build it around making mistakes.”
Experiences….making mistakes…taking misteps….getting messy…learning and growing.
It’s a sign of life!
If you aren’t making mistakes, you quit trying. And life’s too short for that.
And that is why I hope our new year….and yours…is full of mistakes.
But while you’re making those mistakes it might be a good idea to hold off on those Jolly Ranchers.
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