I had been thinking about it for weeks and couldn't get the idea out of my head. Parachuting! What would it feel like to soar through the air, gliding smoothly through space, gently floating like a feather to the ground. My wondering slowly turned into an obsession. I had to find out.
I shared the idea with my brother and he promised to try it himself if I enjoyed it. So, filled with confidence and relishing a dream about to come true, I climbed to the top bunk and wrapped myself in a sheet as four-year-old Robert watched from below. (I do have to admit that as I inched my fanny to the edge of the bed, I momentarily vacillated, wondering if my plan would really work). With Robert's cheers of 'do it, do it, do it,' I dismissed my apprehension and over the side I went.
No soaring. No gliding. No gentle feather landing. Only a THUD two seconds after take-off. My hipbones scrunched up beneath my rib cage and I emitted a loud 'whoosh' as the air was thrust from my lungs.
My very first thought was, 'I don't want Robert to know I'm in so much pain. I want him to do it and that way I won't feel stupid all by myself.' After all, wasn't I the mature eight-year-old?
Robert asked, 'Did it hurt?'
It took a bit to answer because I couldn't get my breath or talk beyond the pain.
'No,' I lied, barely whispering. 'It's your turn.'
'Nope, I'm not going to do it!'
'I'm not going to do it.'
That's when I got mad. But instead of admitting I was mad at myself for pulling such a stupid stunt, I transferred my anger to him, blaming him for not keeping his 'promise.' I didn't want to admit I had been foolish.
Over the years, I have shared with my grandchildren some of the 'not-so-wise' choices I've made; the importance that we take ownership for our actions and not blaming others. Perhaps, just perhaps, they will become wiser at their age than what I was.
I just shake my head now when I think back upon some of the oh-so-foolish stunts I pulled. I can almost envision my Heavenly Father shaking His head over me – perhaps even today – as He observes some of my not-so-wise choices. Hopefully they’re few and far in-between now and… closer to the ground!