Oh dear God. This is my child...
He is riding the High Wire Bicycle, 43 feet in the air above the atrium of the California Science Center.
The scientific relevance of such a thing is that it's supposed to be "an interactive exhibit that allows visitors to experience the law of 'center of gravity' in a dramatic fashion". Jude, of course, had no interest in its scientific relevance, but only in its extreme sports/thrillseeker/adrenelin junkie relevance.
While Jude proved to have nerves of steel while pedalling veeeeeeery slowly back and forth across the 36 foot high wire, high above a skull-cracking tile floor, protected only by a seatbelt, a wimpy net and his own center of gravity, I...did not. I sweated and paced, heart pounding and legs turned to jelly.
This kid is going to be the death of me.
This, of course, is not the first time Jude has scared the pee out of me. He is always talking me into letting him rock climb, or sled or body surf or do that simulated skydive thing. The child wants to try everything he sees that seems even remotely dangerous.
We went to the CA Science Center with my friend Julie and her son George, who is one of Jude's best friends, to see Space Shuttle Endeavor (which was really very cool, and I recommend, and probably deserves its own post, but I'm not going to talk about it because I got derailed by this whole High Wire thing). George, who is clearly more sensible than my child, chose not to ride the High Wire, even though my friend Carol had given us free passes for it. And Julie kept telling me what a good thing it is that Jude wants to do these scary things. And while part of me thought "Yes, how good it is that my child isn't fearful" another, very large part of me wanted to say to her "Good Lord, woman, you should be very glad that your child has good enough sense not to be on a damn high wire suspended in the middle of the air!"
I don't know where Jude gets this from. Not from Jimmy. I mean, Jimmy has always been reckless, he never played it safe - the boy was naughty. But the thrillseeking was never physical, it was more behavioral. He might have snuck out in the middle of the night and stolen his father's car and smoked cigarettes with loose young women, but he never would have ridden that damned High Wire Bicycle.
Jude definitely didn't get it from me. I'm a complete ninny. I am absolutely happy with both of my feet firmly on the ground. I mean, I ride all those rollercoasters with him because I have to, it makes him so happy. And I rockclimb and sled and all that with him for the same reason, he wants to do it, and he can't do it alone, so I'm stuck doing it with him. And also because I'm kind of stubborn, and hate the fact that I'm a ninny, and don't really want HIM to know I'm a ninny because I don't want him to be afraid...
Wait a minute. Maybe he doesn't know that I only do these things because he wants me to. Maybe he thinks...I'm brave. Maybe he did get it from me! Have I, in my attempt not to lay my own fears on him, actually...not laid my own fears on him?
Well that's not bad, I guess. Until he starts skateboarding or some such horror. I thank God every day that we don't live near any mountains, or he'd end up being a snowboarder, like his idol, Shaun White. Could you imagine being Shaun White's mother? Standing there watching your boy do a Double McTwist or a Pipe Double Backside Rodeo? How does she stand it? How does she not just pass out from fear? Did she stupidly get her boy to think she was brave so he wouldn't be fearful when in truth she's a ninny too?
Okay, deep breath. He is what he is, right? It's better than being afraid of everything, isn't it?
Maybe if I just didn't watch? Or drank more? Ideas?