You see, I'm 55-years-old. I had my children in my forties, the first at 40, the second at 42. They are now 15 and 13 respectively. By having them at that stage of my life, I was thrust into the world of the younger mom even though my body was crying, "No! Don't do it! You'll hurt yourself." But how can you not when those big brown eyes are staring up at you? Well I'll tell you. You just do.
The first really cool mom thing I did when was when Philippe was four. We put him in Suzuki violin lessons, which meant I had to learn to play the violin too. Well, I play a pretty mean piano and so I figured I'd be good at this too, but after a couple of years, I developed tendonitis in my middle-aged thumb, elbow, and shoulder. Did I quit? No. I just took a lot of Advil and kept on...eventually burning a hole in my stomach. Ouch! That's us playing at Festival du bois. I'm the injured woman in the back playing piano.
Next cool mom thing I did was when my younger son, wanted to learn to snowboard. I was 47 at the time. I was a fairly good skier, having grow up in a skiing family, so I thought I'd give it a try, but believe me, skiing and snowboarding are two different beasts. I enrolled the three of us in a snowboarding camp that Christmas. For five days, I braved the narrow, icy road all the way up to Mt. Seymour where we all learned the basic of snowboarding. The hardest part for me was just learning how to get up on the board. Fortunately, I had a real hunk of an instructor who gave me hands up whenever I needed them. On the fourth lesson, I figured it out. I still remember the day the boys and I made it down the hill together for the first time. Of course, my sons outshone me.
My next great folly was last summer when I tried skate boarding with my son then twelve. See, I figured that while he made a trip to the bathroom, that when he came out, I'd be gliding past on his skateboard, the coolest mom ever. I hopped on, gave myself a push, and literally flew in the air. Thankfully, I landed on my feet. Taking a furtive look back, I noticed Andre was still in the bathroom and that I still had another chance. I turned around, completely naive to the fact that there was a back and front to a skateboard, and pushed off again. This time I was catapulted high in the air and landed very hard on my left hip. It was so bad I ended up in the hospital having tests run. Apparently, I'd really bruised myself. My son begged me never to try that again. However, later on in the basement, I saw an older skateboard lying around and, stupid me, gave it another whirl. Fortunately, I landed safely with arms flapping and never told a soul that I'd been so dumb again.
My son asked me why I tried such stupid things obviously not meant for people of my age, and I replied, "Because there's a child that lives within me who wants to play too. And I can't let go of her." It's that child that makes me jump on the trampoline, that makes me climb fences, that makes me try the pogo stick, that makes me dive off the lifeguard's chair into Bellevue Lake, that makes me try zip-lining.
They say that being around kids keeps you young, and I agree. Without my boys I'd probably be overweight and sedentary. So how do be a cool mom? Very cautiously.