Friday, September 11, 2009

Growing Up and Reversing Roles

I sit here on the eve of the long-awaited 60th birthday bike tour that we planned for my mom. We are also celebrating my dad's 65th this year. Originally, the plan was for Rick, me and my mom to ride and my dad to drive SAG. That was about 4 years ago when we first cooked up this whole thing. Then, my mom got a recumbent trike, and my dad followed a few months later. Pretty soon, we were thinking of a bike tour where we all would ride.

We started planning over the Christmas holiday last year and eventually ended up with a route around the Olympic peninsula in Washington that met all our criteria - ability to drive to the start, not too hilly, hotels/restaurants every 40ish miles, and around 300 miles in distance for a loop. As we got down to it, job situations changed. Now, it's a tour for me, my mom and my dad. Rick is staying home. He took a wonderfully exciting new job during the summer - the only drawback being that a fall vacation would be impossible for him.

Now I find myself in a new position. I, the child, am now the one responsible for the safe delivery of this motley crew around the loop. I am the one who will mentor, navigate, and do roadside repairs, if necessary. Normally, I have my handsome prince to escort me on these little adventures. He is the one who does all the navigating and mentoring and protecting. I feel suddenly inadequate, vulnerable. I guess this is all part of the growing up process. And, yet, I feel totally out of sorts in this new role.

Maybe it's because I realize that I am not ultimately able to deliver that protection that I crave - that we are all at the whim of fate and must rely on the great Protector, but I cannot rely on myself. Maybe it's because I realize that the time of life is bounding quickly toward us where I will find myself more and more in this role as my parents age. I find myself screaming inside "I don't want to grow up! Who put me in charge? I have no idea what I am doing!" Maybe that's a part of growing up, too. The more you learn and the more capable you become, the more you realize how truly inadequate you are.

But, I'm sure all this discomfort is part of my process of becoming who I am meant to be. It's like fitness for the character. If you do not overreach beyond your comfort zone, you never grow and improve. So, I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I'm going to face my fears. We're going to have a wonderful adventure and all grow together in the process. Here's to a joyous, safe, and wonderful Birthday Tour 2009!


Judy Lovejoy said...

Have a fabulous time! :)

chatterbox said...

Thanks, Judy!

CyclistRick said...

You will be fine; I have faith and confidence in you. Just do not get sucked into trying to do too much roadside maintenance; all 3 bike have just been tuned up, so all you should need to do is take care of true emergencies (plus you can use the bike shops along the way as a resource).

I am sorry I could not be with you in person, but you know I am there in spirit and in my heart. Have fun, and we will see you in ten days to hear all about how much fun you have had along the way. :-)

Shannon Brown said...

Enjoy your vacation and tell your parents hello.