One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with as a Cotton Wool Mum is giving No 1 Son enough freedom to experience the adrenaline rush that can only come from being a little closer to the edge, of living just that little bit more dangerously. Watching with my heart in my mouth while he careered round the summit of a mountain in Switzerland on a rubber dinghy, for example, or getting into a helicopter in New Zealand with him – my precious baby – has taken all my courage. But I know that as a mum one of the most important gifts I can give him is that spirit of adventure, that love of exploring and the desire to feel the fear and do it anyway. As a result, I think, I hope, he knows his limits, and is (mostly) sensible.
I took this photo when we were on holiday in Lapland. We’d just been on the Big Snowmobile, which I’d driven (I’m proud to say, without crashing into anything.) This was my boy’s turn to experience what it’s like to control a snowmobile, in the middle of a Finnish forest, close to a lake, and the look of pure joy on his face makes my heart sing every time I look at it.
What I knew, and the instructor knew, of course, is that the snowmobile could only go so far. Round in a circle.
*This is my entry to The Gallery and the theme this week is ‘adventure’.
(By the way, it’s not technically brilliant but I am rather proud of this photo – it was minus 30 or something mad and the snow was coming down in huge flakes, we were in the middle of a dark forest – and somehow I managed to capture my boy smiling at just the right moment.)