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Don't forget to make some memories!



When we finished our meal, I looked at my boys and stated, “I’m ready to make a sky diving reservation for you, but need to bow out. I’ve been in a lot of pain lately and think I should err on the side of caution.”

Before I finished my sentence, my college-aged boys launched into an explanation as to why I shouldn’t cave to logic.

“You’ll be held in tight by the harness,” Nathan began, “so when the parachute is launched, your back will be protected.”

“And the instructor will take the brunt of the landing,” Sam chimed in. “Your ankles will be fine.”

They continued their fervent explanations, with hand motions, while I floated away in time.

For a moment, they were ten and eight—not twenty-two and twenty—and I was a young, widowed mom, standing at the foot of a towering water slide as they pleaded for me to take the plunge. Scared, but determined not to let them down, I climbed the sky-scraper-sized structure and screamed loud on the descent.

Back from the past, we paid our bill and walked to the car. When the door shut tight, I looked at my husband and said, “I have to do this. I don’t know if it’s for me or for them, but we need to make this memory.”

Reservations made, I counted down the weeks.

Less than a year had passed since I’d undergone the last of three orthopedic surgeries. A back fusion had given me control of my feet again and two ankle reconstructions stabilized the frail joints. Still, a neuromuscular, energy disorder limited mobility. Jumping out of a plane seemed counter intuitive, but after limping around for years with canes and walkers, the thought of making a splashy memory with my boys spurred me on.

Weather delayed our jump by a day but all too soon we were harnessed to instructors and seated on parallel benches in a tiny plane. As the last ones in, my instructor and I straddled the end of the bench near the open door. The wide opening cooled the plane as we took off and offered a close up view of the pavement and disappearing ground.

But after years of accepting physical limits and grieving lost dreams, I enjoyed the thrill—almost. Nerves took hold once we flew above the clouds, but soon it was time to jump. After counting down, my instructor threw us out of the plane, into the sky, where we fell free.

The parachute opened and we floated through the air with ease. My body didn’t hurt. My joints were fine. And we landed without incident.

Nathan, Sam, and I met up in the hangar and compared notes. I felt alive in a new way. Daring. Adventurous. Bonded with my boys through a memory that won’t fade.

What did I learn? That sometimes you just have to jump. You have to dare to step out. Because high above the clouds, you just might soar.

The same is true of parenting. What could you do to soar today? What could you do to make a memory with your children?

By: Susan Schreer Davis is a writer, singer, and formerly widowed mom, now remarried! She loves butterflies, white sand beaches, long days at the shore, hugs from her boys, clean toilets, and whispy curtains draped to her bedroom floor. Visit her at or at her blog:

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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