You know the ditty – Flying through the air with the greatest of ease – right? There’s something magical about watching someone on a flying trapeze. Maybe it’s that freedom like playing on the monkey bars or swinging high on the swing and jumping off. Whatever it is, it pulls you.
For most of us, though, actually climbing up that tall, skinny ladder and taking hold of a bar and flying through the air 40 feet in the air is never going to happen. The left brain takes over and fills our minds with all the reasons we shouldn’t do something crazy like that. But, the allure is there.
This summer we went to southern California for vacation and I knew I wanted to surprise BabyGirl by sending her to trapeze school. She’s talked about it for a few years. She’s watched the trapeze episode of Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman so many times she can probably recite it by heart. There was that instant “something” that caught her attention when she first saw it. And I was going to make the time for her to go to the Trapeze School of New York at the Santa Monica Pier.
Early one morning we drove to the Santa Monica pier, seemingly just to visit and hang out on the beach. But when we neared the Trapeze School of New York we kept walking toward the entry, BabyGirl having no clue. The attendant asked a few questions then asked her name. I wish I could have captured the stunned look on her face when the attendant started giving BabyGirl instructions on where to wait.
Since it was a surprise, she wasn’t wearing the cool leotard and tights we’d picked out for something else. Or so she thought. She was so excited she didn’t know what to do. There was no time to think about whether or not she really wanted to do this. She looked adorable in her outfit and took her place among the other participants, all much older.
CycleGuy and I sat off to the side taking photos while she was with her class. It was all her. There was training before the safety harness was put on. It was funny to hear everyone complaining about how uncomfortable the safety harness felt, and the trainers dismissed each and every one of the complaints with something funny to help break up the tension. Safety is important, but so was making sure this was a fun and exciting experience.
First time up, BabyGirl climbed slowly and deliberately. After coming down, she said climbing the ladder was more scary than taking the bar and swinging through the air or even letting go and falling to the net. She said one of the best parts was being so high up and seeing out into the ocean.
There were so many teaching moments, all part of a fun experience. For an only child who knows mom or dad is always there, she had to do this all on her own. And once up on the platform, the trainers helped her get over her nervousness. Even the other students were encouraging her. It was really cool.
Seeing other people do things and thinking it would be fun is very different than doing it yourself. Trapeze is one of those activities that looks like it would be so much fun, but you don’t realize what goes into actually doing it. Like the ladder. Who climbs up 40-feel on skinny ladders? Then stands on a narrow platform before flinging yourself while listening to the cues, taking in where you are, not being distracted by the view of the ocean in front of you, and who knows what all else went through her mind.
At the end of it all, she wanted to take more classes. She’s an adventure-seeker. She’s willing to push past her fears and the inner voices telling her maybe she should just watch. She’s just a girl having fun, thinking that she can do anything she puts he mind to. And that’s really what moms want from their little girls. Fear less, do more!