The summer before my 30th birthday, Jeff and I spent a week with some friends at the lake on our boat. I struggle to admit it, but I feel I was nearing a crisis that thirty sounded way older than I could possibly be. To top it off, spending a week in my bathing suit on the lake was only adding to this discomfort. I was a short three months from the birthday celebration, and my arm muscles were already loosening, creating what was beginning to look like a flag hanging from my lower arm. I swear our bodies take on a totally different confirmation for each decade we enter.
Sitting on the edge of our boat, appearing relaxed, but in actuality, obsessing about some of these physical changes and wondering if anyone else could notice. I decided it was time for a dip. I began sliding down the side of the boat, trying my best to gracefully enter the water without making a splash. All of a sudden, before I had time to react, I was hanging upside down with both arms and legs dangling from the side of the boat with the bottoms to my bathing suit caught on the boat cleat, literally “hanging by a thread”, my head inches from the water.
This thread was not about to let go. Through much discomfort, as I am sure you can imagine without my explaining, I reached back, straining to detach my suit from the boat, but no luck. My friend’s attempt to help was poor as she could barely catch her breath through her hysterical laughter. She began to instruct me to swim out of the suit. Now with an audience nearing ten people, I had other things to worry about them noticing, I was now moments from revealing all of these “30 year old changes”. I began trying to find the hull of the boat with my feet. Gripping with my toes, I struggled to push off.
At last, the thread released, and I plunged face first into the water. As I emerged to the surface, my eyes met all those who witnessed my most embarrassing, what felt like way more than a “moment”. Perfect timing to keep everyone’s attention, since all eyes were already on me, I decided to create one more scene as I tried to get back into the boat. Amid my embarrassment and nervous laughter, I began stepping onto the boat drive to help hoist my graceful, 30 year old self up. When, at that very moment, I stood up out of the water onto the back of the boat, I glanced down to notice the bottoms of my suit formed a perfect sling shot, so stretched out they were now hanging down to my knees; talk about going from one embarrassing moment to the next.
How quickly things can change in a moment. There I was worrying about all the changes to “come”, and before I knew it my life was hanging upside down, literally. This is much like the anticipation Jeff and I are feeling as we await the arrival of a little one into our home. As much as we can try to get things ready (adjusting daily routines, preparing the home, reading books, etc.), nothing can fully prepare us for what is about to take place. Before we know it, we will get hit with the surprises of parenting, and will be feeling at times turned upside down, hanging on by nothing but a thread…
Keep the laughs coming and share with us some of life’s greatest moments and lessons of parenting you have experienced. Please feel free to leave a brief comment sharing your own personal stories of when you felt your life was “Hanging By a Thread”.