My family spent winter break in warm and peaceful Mexico last week and my ten-year-old son showed interest in parasailing. I was happy to give him this unforgettable experience, especially because when I told him he could pick out one souvenir from the many shops overflowing with toys and tchokes, he choose a free rock from the ocean.
If you haven't parasailed before, it is essentially a harness with a parachute attached and pulled by a boat. We talked to the men on the beach, paid them and within ten minutes by first born was a speck in the sky. I've seen hundreds of people do the same things over the years and felt confident, my son would be fine... and thankfully he was.
On the other hand, a cooking class with the same child the next day almost gave me a full on panic attack.
He expressed interested in a 3:00 poolside class where we prepare our own salsa, ceviche and guacamole. Sounded fun to me, until we sat down with machetes in front of us. I don't think I have ever cut with a knife so sharp, let alone anything I would let near my easily distracted boy.
The teacher, the same one I saw leading a water volleyball class minutes before, told us to begin by cutting the tomatoes into small pieces. No instruction on to hold the tomato or knife, just ready set chop your finger off.
My boy, now in 4th grade, has showed me lately that he doesn't want to be babied and needs independence, which I do my best to honor. I tried very hard, but couldn't succeed in minding my own business and possibly letting him learn the hard way.
Luckily and surprisingly he left the class with ten fingers and the best guacamole and pico de gallo I ate the entire week.
Would you let your ten-year-old parasail or cook with sharp knives? Are their other activities that make you very nervous? I would love to hear from you.
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