She was 17 when she first told me she wanted to jump out of a plane. I thought nothing of it. Because I remember what it’s like to be young and fresh. To be standing in that odd space between childhood and adulthood, longing for a taste of the world. For me, it was hang gliding.
But I never went.
At 18 she said she’d wait a year. She and the beau had discussed going together after his birthday. I thought nothing of it. Things change in a year.
And I never went hang gliding.
When she turned 19, the boyfriend realized she was serious. For him it was just fun talk and not a true bucket list item. And so he declined. I thought nothing of it.
But this week, as we’re on vacation, my daughter Sarah made up her mind. It was time to: Take. The. Plunge. She asked her Dad to go skydiving with her. Because long ago when he was 18, he had longed to jump out of a plane. And he never went.
But now my husband has a wife, three kids and a company to run. Sorry Sarah, he said: the time for flying is when you are young.
But in steps John. John, who is on vacation with us. John who is our lifelong friend who has known Sarah since the very day she was born. John, who also has always wanted to jump out of a plane. When Sarah asked John if he’d jump with her, he said yes. Even though he’s not so young. This time, I thought something of it.
I thought: Wow, they are really going to do this.
I thought: Wow, they could get hurt.
I thought: I can’t hold her back; I have to let her go.
Because the time for flying is when you are young.
I woke up today and found myself no longer afraid, no longer worried about what could happen. Instead I was giddy, excited for my daughter and my friend, anxious to see them both fly. One young and one not so young, both challenging themselves to take a leap and dive right into the unknown.
The day is bright, sunny, with just the right amount of clouds interrupting the brilliant blue sky. And so as I watched the plane soar high into the air, so high we can no longer see it or hear it, I thought something of it.
I thought: Wow, they are really doing this.
I thought: Wow, this is so cool.
I thought: No matter your age, the time for soaring is now.
I always love a good adventure, even when it’s not mine. And so to Sarah I say: I am so excited for you because this is just the beginning. And to John: thanks for reminding me you’re never too old to fly.