Darn it. Another slide. Life is now shouting at me. Do you think I might get it this time??

If you have been reading these posts for a few years, you may remember that being a parent with a disability has offered me invaluable life lessons through the gift of slides and waterparks.

The overall lesson?

If I just trust in the adventure of life, more than the fear, I am reminded of my strength, and most important – have fun in the process.

But oh, it’s sooooo hard to let go of the tight grip of control? What if I get hurt? What if I fail? What if I get into something and lose the ability to influence the outcome (fancy way of saying control)?

Do these thoughts run through your head? Like ALL THE TIME?

A Quiet Evening at the Park

Recently one evening, my son, Jaden, and I took a walk in the nature trails by our home. The trails are part of a park with a playground. We’ve been having a not so great spring and it was yet another cool and overcast evening. There was no one at the park.

“Mom, can I play at the park?” Jaden asked, as he almost always does as we finished our walk.

“Sure, bud.”

“Will you play with me?”

“Sure,” I replied, hoping it conveyed some enthusiasm. Confession: playgrounds aren’t really my thing. You’ll find out why in a minute.

Jaden’s excitement grew. “Will you go down the slide with me?”

Pause. Oh God. “We’ll see.” It’s my patent, non-committal answer.

Within about seven minutes I found myself sitting on top of the slide with Jaden grinning from ear to ear with the prospect of watching me glide down.

There was just one problem as I gripped the bar that was over my head.

I had placed my butt just an inch or two too far on the downward angle of the slide. I could not scooch myself back to get better prepared for my trip south.

I had no choice now but to let go and allow my body to slide down. I wasn’t in control. I PANICKED.

I tried with all my might to get my butt back on the seat of the slide. My heart began beating faster. I could feel my face contort with struggle.

Jaden, who was waiting down below, lost his smile when he heard me groaning to get back “in control.” In his seven-year old wisdom, he said simply, “Mom, just let go. It will be all right. It’s fun. You won’t get hurt.”


Now, scroll back up and look at the height of the slide. Go ahead, I’ll wait…yep, not that big at all, huh? Yet, I was convinced I was going to go down at lightning speed, fall off, and hit my head. Our fears can really run us, can’t they?

On one level I aware of all this and how silly I was reacting. Yet, I could not let go.

But my sweet boy was there. He’s a heart-centered genius. After he offered to call Daddy for help, he got beside me at the top of the slide and said with all his little power, “Mom, you can do this. I believe in you.”

Okay, now I hear you, life. Me, the person who encourages others with disabilities to take risks and pursue dreams, and yet I’m hanging on to this darn bar because I don’t want to slide 15 feet?! I once walked on 15 feet of hot coals and I can’t do this?

C’mon now! And away I went.

Pretty typical of me, I laughed all the way down. What was I so afraid of anyway?

Isn’t this just the reminder we all need from time to time? We think if we only control things, we won’t get hurt. Life will be gentle with us. We don’t want any unexpected twists or turns that cause us to have to let go. Oh, but how a deeper joy and new discovery about ourselves emerges.

So tell me, what has life been shouting at you to let go of?

I’ll be live at 3pm (EST) over on Facebook today to chat about this.