Don’t blink! If you do you just might find some strange grownups in your house.

It always amazes me how fast the time goes. It seems like only yesterday I was driving home from the hospital after Nolan was born –10 MPH the whole way. Now I’m driving to Tahoe with Nolan on the verge of being able to ride without a car seat. Annual vacations are a great way to recognize the milestones in our kids’ growth. I know we have discussed this in recent posts, but it brings up a lot for me as a parent. When I was a kid, I ran all around the mountains at my Grandparent’s cabin in Boulder Creek. We had free reign of the generous area they allowed. The only rules were to stay within the boundary and come back when Grandpa or Mom honked the horn.

Those times were something special. We hiked, swam, fished, and climbed rocks & trees, and more. I was all about having fun. It was often the kind of fun that made Mom and Grandma cover their eyes like the first time I jumped off the rock at the Junction into the creek. As a parent of two, I can understand that today. We recently returned from an annual trip to the mountains in Northern California that has the same stuff I had in Boulder Creek. Last year, we had to stay in the creek with the kids; this year they both were jumping off cliffs into a lake! My son did a little downhill mountain biking for the first time, too. Keep in mind they are five and eight. Not that old and I was pretty nervous about both activities. As a matter of fact, I thought I would be carrying my son back to the cabin in my arms because of a gnarly wreck; he’d never been down-hilling before, nor did he have a bike made for down hill riding. Well, he made it down in once piece and asked to do it again almost every day!

This reminds me that I just need to let go a bit; I need to let them experiment, push the limits, explore gravity – be kids. I also need to remember that sometimes getting hurt is part of the learning process. It is my job to teach them about safety & precautions and to be there to comfort them if they get hurt.  Most importantly, I must remember that what made my childhood so fun and great were those activities; they produced some of the greatest memories and stories that I have. They didn’t have mountain bikes when I was growing up but that didn’t stop me from riding down any hill I could find on any thing that would take me , or jumping any curb or ramp! So, take a deep breath and let them be kids because before you know it, they will be moving out on their own.

How about you? Any cool things your kids learned for the first time this summer? Any great childhood memories you have?

Happy Story Making!

– Kevin Williams
VP & Dad