I have never broken a bone (knock on wood and all that). I haven’t even sprained an ankle or dislocated a shoulder. The closest I’ve come is jammed fingers from playing basketball in high school, which led me to quit the basketball team so that it wouldn’t get in the way of my piano playing. During a farm trip, I jumped off the hay loft, but only the lowest rung. As I got older, I enjoyed some thrill seeking behavior, but I was always very aware of risks and really rather careful. And it’s something I’m very aware of while raising Harley to be a confident, brave little girl.
Let’s be clear, though – I was very brave and confident when it came to intellectual or emotional pursuits. I had no issue raising my hand in class, even if I wasn’t 100% sure of my answer. I’d audition for lead roles in plays, jump at opportunities to do public speaking, and dive heart first into relationships. I wasn’t overly careful in those regards, but when it came to physical feats, I wasn’t even willing to hang upside down from the jungle bars on the playground. Part of that is because I was very aware of the risk of getting hurt, or embarrassing myself, and I wanted to stay safe instead. Now, as a parent, I’m trying to figure out the line between healthy risk taking and safety.