I remember the first time I saw my dad downhill ski and my mom ice skate. I remember because I was in middle school and I was amazed – they were good. Really good. As kids, my dad would save his money to get a season ski pass and my mom spent all winter gliding on frozen water. And there I was – a clueless middle schooler – falling down the slopes and wobbling on the ice.
I think most kids grow up knowing what their parents are really good at – the things they have been doing since childhood. But not me. My parents grew up with nine month winters and I grew up with nine month summers. I remember being in elementary school when dad was getting re-certified to SCUBA dive, and mom trying years later. I remember when we bought our boat – learning how to tie proper knots and to care for equipment immersed in salt water. I remember mom being terrified of high seas and open water, but we went anyway.
The lives that we lived as family are incredibly different than my parentsâ€™ childhoods. Each country brought new things to be learned – cultures, lands, and hobbies. Wherever we were, we truly lived. I was raised to believe that I could do whatever I wanted to do. Not because I was invincible, but because I could learn and persevere.
This makes my parents sound like wild adventurers. Maybe to some that is exactly what they are, but I really think that they simply chose to live. They like quiet nights at home surrounded by family. They like routine and typically steer clear of things that could lead to â€˜legendary storiesâ€™. And in choosing to live wherever they have been, I think they have given me an incredible blessing – I cannot fall into the trap of believing that I am too old to learn new things or that I should be excellent, nay perfect, at what I do, at my chosen hobbies. I know that I can try and that I will, most likely, succeed.
And so, while I dream, I am thankful that I have spent my life watching my parents do (not just try) new things, that I have seen them work at relationships and life, and I am thankful they have grown through all of it. Seeing them ski and skate taught me about their pasts, but my childhood taught me how to live. I know I can always learn something, someplace, someone new. Today I am thankful that my dreams do not have boundaries.