I think I had an adventure the other day, it’s hard to say.
See, my oldest son is 17. He’s a senior in high school. He took driver’s ed this past January. My life being the complicated mess it is, we didn’t get his pernut until the end of August. Needless to say he’s not one of those kids who’s eager to start driving. Even now that he’s got his permit I have to twist his arm to get him to drive (figuratively not literally, usually at least). He has to log at least forty hours of driving before taking the next level of driver’s training and being allowed to road test for his actual license. At this rate we may end up waiting until he’s 18.
Back to my adventure…my son asked if he could go to a friend’s to “study” after school. I wasn’t too keen on having to go pick him up later in the evening so I gave him conditional permission. Thinking it wound deter him, I said if he went he would have to drive home. My plan failed, he was fine with that so he did. And we took the freeway home.
There in lies the adventure.
In his interview on The Art of Charm podcast, Jon Levy talks about adventure. How some people have a higher tolerance for novelty and excitement, that adventure doesn’t just happen by chance, and how adventure pushes us past our comfort zone thus bringing about personal growth. Levy defines adventure as something that is “exciting and remarkable”, something that “possess adversity or risk” (or even just perceived risk), and as I already mentioned something that “brings about growth”. So maybe riding in the car while my 17 year old is driving at 70mph doesn’t seem like much of an adventure but by Levy’s standards it sure is!
Well, maybe not by his standards (we’re taking about a guy who had travelled the world doing done crazy shit), but at least by his definition. There was a perceived risk. Any parent who had ridden with their teenager knows what I’m talking about. 70 doesn’t seem all that fast when I’m driving but put my kid behind the wheel and, holy hell, it’s terrifyingly fast.And my white knuckle grasp on the nearest handle proves that it was exciting. Obviously it’s remarkable, I’m remarking about it right now. The experience was definitely just out side my “skillset” which pushed me to grow, to rationalize my fear and trust my son’s capabilities just a little more. It was a (very) small step towards adulthood for my son and towards me, as a parent, acknowledging his immanent adult status. That right there is the very real adventure in parenting.It will definitely make you uncomfortable, if you’re doing it right it promotes self-improvement, and it sure as shit gives us challenges to overcome.
Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking my life is boring, and occasionally the day-to-day does feel pretty mundane, but there is endless opportunity for adventure, excitement, and growth in my quiet, small scale life. I bet there is in yours too.
On a somewhat random side note, there’s been progress on the WIP fandom blanket. I made this….
It’s adapted from this hat pattern. One of these days I’m going to have to sit down and come up with a plan for the blanket layout but for now I’m really enjoying these themed mini-projects, err, squares.