I Let My Son Jump Off a Cliff

I let my son jump off a cliff.  I didn’t want to.  I did not want to see him launch himself over a 25-foot high cliff.  He’s only seven.  And even now, it feels wrong.

We visited Yosemite in July.  During our travels, we discovered Rainbow Pool.  It’s a stunningly beautiful place tucked away off the side of a road into the national park.  The kids enjoyed playing around in the water.  Nate?  He couldn’t take his eyes off the falls. He couldn’t stop watching the people jumping off the cliff.  Or riding the falls like a water slide:

I said no.  No. No. No. No.  And hell no.  He’s too young.  Can’t swim well enough.  On our first visit there, I won the battle.  On our second visit to cool off, I made my son and husband SWEAR there would be no JUMPING OFF THE CLIFF.  They agreed.

After playing around for a while, and watching the jumpers, Adam decided Nate was ready.  He said yes.  I was not happy.  Not really.  But I also knew this was an important moment.  Adam was honoring and encouraging Nate’s sense of adventure.  I had to trust in that, while praying that he would be okay.   Adam had a plan.  A fellow dad was in the water, waiting for Nate to jump while Adam was with Nate at the top of the cliff.  Adam and Nate climbed the cliff.  I almost couldn’t watch.  And I couldn’t not watch.  I didn’t videotape because it didn’t feel right.  They stood up there, and walked to the edge.  It took a minute or so, but he did it.  Nate jumped off that cliff.  He stepped of the edge and soared into the water.  I was terrified, and yet incredibly proud.

Sometimes, we just have to let go, so our kids can fly.  And believe me, he flew!

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