We’ve got these four chicks staying with us these days. Is that what you call baby robins? Chicks? Sure. Anyway, the parents are staying at our place, too, although they usually hang out on the swing set or out in the yard. The chicks like things under the deck. I mean, they can’t leave the deck. The nest is there, and they like the nest. Not sure they’re big fans of flash photography, but what are you gonna do when you’re a chick?
They have no choice but to wait until they can fly . . . but you know what they do when they fly? They fly. Away. And when that day comes, I’ll still be here. Where I am. Airborne as a rock.
I don’t want to complain. I’m not eating worms. I don’t have to sleep under the deck (it’s really kind of shoddy). I’m warm-blooded. There are a billion other things I like about being me. But I’m sorely afraid of heights. I would like not to be. And these birds hold the secret.
Yeah, yeah, I know, you figured it out. They’re not afraid of heights because they can fly. But what you may not know is the reason I’m afraid of heights.
When I am somewhere high . . . say, seven stories up, looking out a window at the street below. I’m not afraid of what would happen when I hit the ground. I’m not even afraid of falling. One of my goals is to go skydiving. I think it would be a blast. It’s not the falling. It’s not the landing. It’s the helplessness. I’m afraid of heights because they make me painfully aware that once I fall, I can’t do anything to change what happens next. If I had a parachute, I could pull the cord to release it. If I had wings, I could flap them.
But as I am . . . there’s nothing I can do, if I fall.
Life-changing experiences–they’re supposed to be good things. I don’t know that everyone is looking for a life-changing experience, but every so often I’ll here the expression: “It will change your life.”
This movie will change your life. This as-seen-on-TV product will change your life. This book will change your life. Having kids will change your life (. . . that one’s true, but not as much as people lead you to believe).
Me, I’m ready for a life change. I’m ready for less commuting. I’m ready for smaller bills. I’m ready for less stress. I’m ready for all kinds of things that I think would qualify as life-changing.
Problem is, I think that in order for my life to change, I might actually have to change. I don’t know if I’m ready for that. I mean, my life is pretty much the way it is because I am the way I am. In many cases, it’s as good as it is in spite of the way I am. I weigh this much because I eat this much. I commute because I live where I choose to live and I work at a place I’ve decided not to stop attending. The self-determining pattern of existence goes on.
It’s like Michael Jackson says, “No message coulda been any clearer. If you wanna make the world a better place, you take a look at yourself and make a change.”
Whoo. So what do I need to change? I’m afraid to seek God. I watch too much TV. I’m addicted to comfort. I live inside my head. I spend too much time online. I’m disorganized. I’m lazy. Okay, that’s my to-change list for now. I’ll let you know when I’ve changed something.
I know what you’re thinking: Adam, when did you go to Brazil? But that’s not a rainforest. That’s no world class soccer pitch. That’s not Ronaldo. Seriously, it’s not. That’s Addison. In Portage. At Imagination Glen. The field, the goal, the ball, the kid . . . all really small.
Addison’s first game is this Saturday. At that point, there’s no turning back. He’ll be an official competitor. You can see it in his eyes . . . his lust for victory is unquenchable already, and they only just scrimmaged. Here’s how it happened: he launched the opening kick, the other team got the ball, drove the ball down the field and scored. Addison then headed to the sidelines and proclaimed, “I won!”
Absolutely indefatigable. He actually did almost score a goal . . . dribbled the length of the field, dove on the ball, and threw it into the goal from his knees. And we’re just talking about practice. We’re a breath away from World Cups, shoe deals, and marrying into the Beckham spice family. I’m so not ready for this.