Elephant Kisses and Skateboards

Elephant Kisses and Skateboards

This week has been full of moments of discontent; there was Alabama, there was whatever nonsense was coming out of the White House this week, there was my daughter and her romantic life, this blog post half written for days and then my usual wondering of what’s next.  This week I read an article from the Wall Street Journal that my dear cousin posted, it’s called The New Rules of Middle Age, Written by Women it spoke to every cell in my middle age body and prompted me to purchase the book It’s Great to Suck at Something.

As I sat at my desk thinking about what I should write for this week’s post and what I should suck at, my phone chimed, and a picture flashed across the screen.  It was a text from my dad, and he sent my siblings and me a picture of my mom getting a “hug” from an elephant. You see, every year or two my mom and two of her three sisters, grab their husbands and/or friends and go on some epic trip, spending whatever little inheritance me, my four siblings and cousins might someday receive. They usually go somewhere really far and typically have the time of their lives. This year they settled on a trip to Africa for two weeks. As I picked up my phone and looked at that picture I couldn’t help but chuckle because my mom didn’t really look like she was enjoying this affection from this obviously loving 6,000 pound animal. I was informed by my father that their options were a hug or kiss from the elephant and that both my parents chose the hug.  He said the kiss was “dirty slimy and messy,” which made me think, how is that any different from the thousands of kisses they got from any of their 13 grandchildren.

The next picture that came through was of my parents standing by a cheetah. My mom looks to be paying very close attention to the guide who was apparently telling them they couldn’t touch the animal.  But if you look really close, you can see my mom’s hand suspiciously close to that cheetah’s tail. Then comes this text from my mom “we weren’t supposed to touch it, but I petted his tail.” I was laughing at my desk wondering when did my 74-year-old mother become so fearless? Perhaps she was always that way.

To add to my week of discontentment was Eddie Izzard. We saw him last week, and something he said at the close of his show had me wondering about life all week. He has this bit about making life a series of small adventures I love that whole concept, but when you combine that with the WSJ article and my current reading material, I feel more confused than ever.  My mom and her sisters have learned how to make life a series of adventures, some not so small, why couldn’t I figure it out. But, it has also left me wondering, do all your adventures have to be as big as elephant kisses?

I picked up the book about sucking at something; its premise is to find something you really love and want to learn how to do and at the risk of sounding like Nike, just do it.  The author’s thing was surfing, and she sucks at it but LOVES it.  I sat on my balcony at home and just thought about the one thing I always wanted to learn how to do, throwing all caution to the wind. Skateboarding, that’s my thing. Secretly I’ve always wanted to feel the wind on my face as I was jumping over a bunch of stairs. So I decided that was what I was going to learn. I googled “skateboard lessons Nashville” found about eight teenagers who would charge me $25 an hour to learn how to stand on the board and eventually learn how to do a long list of tricks. I was so excited. I ran into my husband’s office and told him about my plan.  His response was, “No.” I looked at him blankly, and with Alabama on my mind, I said “Uh, Yes” and left his office and promptly texted my son. I told him I needed his help in purchasing a skateboard, his answer “No.” WTF, why were these men telling yet another woman no. Now, I know, unlike the Alabama men, these men in my life meant well.  They were concerned that I would break a wrist or worse, at my age, a hip, but I was not going to take no for an answer.

So next week, my son and I are going to buy a skateboard and maybe some wrist guards. I’m excited like I haven’t been in a really long time. I urge you to find your thing you can suck at and jump head first into it. Buy that book, read the article, find your adventure, they don’t have to be as big as elephant kisses, I promise.



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