When my daughter turned sixteen, she and I began a tradition of celebrating her birthday together, just the two of us. We typically went for an overnight stay at a nice hotel nearby, where we enjoyed a spa treatment and dinner out. It was our special mother/daughter “bonding” time and a treat that I always looked forward to.
The year she turned twenty-two, she came to me with a different request, “Mom, I want to go skydiving for my birthday this year.” My logical response of, “You want to do what?” fell on deaf ears as she laid out the plan. The plan, had to be loosely based on truth while not revealing all, since she knew her father would not be pleased.
Not the type of person to keep secrets from my husband, I justified my deceit by deciding that it would be better to spare him the agony of knowing what we were up to, rather than trying to convince him that it was safe. After all, he would just sit at home and worry until the phone rang. So, we allowed him to believe we were headed up to Orlando for two nights at Disney World and off we went, to Skydive Sebastian.
We arrived for our 12:00 reservation and were handed paperwork that included a lot of very scary language, in very large print – stuff like YOU COULD DIE! appeared more than once on the liability waiver. We cheerfully signed every page and trotted off to our fifteen-minute “lesson.”
We were assigned to very experienced skydivers who literally became our lifeline. Getting acquainted, learning how to position our bodies into a gliding position and much talk about the landing (apparently that is when most accidents happen) filled the time while we awaited our turn.
Finally, it was time to board the plane.
Those are the “expert skydivers” clowning it up behind us. Had we seen this, we might have taken a minute to pause. But no, I dutifully scooted on my bottom to the open door; trusted joker attached at my spinal cord, and fell face first into the clouds. To be honest, that few seconds of free-fall was the scariest part of the ride. Once he maneuvered us into the glide position, it was all just one big Oh, My, god! The glide, the beauty of the earth below, the awareness of every emotion within me and the sensation of being completely out of control is beyond description. Trust me, that face says it all. Screams of complete exhilaration and delight! Followed by a picture perfect landing, relief and all smiles. Knees, nicely tucked awaiting my turn to plant feet on the ground. We made it!
We actually did spend the night in Orlando, and we had a wonderful day at Disney World, with hubby non the wiser.
When we returned home a few days later, we were anxious to share our story. Part of the package at Skydive Sebastian is a disc of professional photographs and a video of your skydive. We popped my daughter’s disc into a laptop, under the pretense of showing off our Disney photos. Much to his surprise, there was our daughter, falling out of an airplane. The range of emotions on his face went from “What the #%*@” to “I can’t believe you let her do this.” When he realized that I did it too, he could not contain his surprise and joy for the two of us. That was when the “wow, this is so cool” moment that we were waiting for happened and we knew the deception would soon be forgiven. I had to promise to never, ever do this again. I said “sure babe,” with my fingers crossed behind my back.
Note: the photos are marginal quality because I took pictures of glossy pages in the Shutterfly book that I created with the disc of still prints which we were provided. Those photographs and the video are amazing, but unfortunately, the disc is packed away in some unknown crevice within our home.
If you find yourself in South Florida, Sebastian is a great coastal town to visit and has much to offer beyond the skydiving experience. Follow our Discover Florida Series to learn more about our amazing State.
“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty
Our Next Chapter
I'm nothing if not resilient
A Funny Blog
Promoting Hobby Blogging
Keeping Life Simple, Authentic And Holistic
The Joy of Slow Travel
Adventures and Postcards from the road
Come along on an adventure with us!
Mainly through the lens of a Nikon
The Beach Girl Chronicles
envisioning & implementing life's next stage
Read this, not that!
Lifestyle, Photography and Traditional Art
Giving and Receiving Blessings
...but change is certain.
Midlife without the crisis
Love life! Sharing and caring!
capturing memories one moment at a time
Navigating retirement as an introvert
Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald
People, Places, Nature, LIFE!
A Canadian Perspective on Living in the Windy City!
Little treasures discovered while exploring the back roads of life
Running and life: thoughts from a runner who has been around the block
Author, Baker, Sunrise Chaser
Creative Exploration in Words and Pictures
Encouraging women in their fifties to live in a meaningful way
Suzanne's Life and Travel Musings from New Zealand and Beyond
A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!
Serenity is an Inside Job
A Midlife Journey
Food and More
Valuing quiet and solitude in academe.
"This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - F.G.
Taking steps to live a healthy and enriched life
Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey
Grateful for the present moment
Building a community of Women Living Well and embracing life after 50
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16
Travel - home and away and Chronic Illness's
Living in Retirement
Retired and Enjoying Life From the Slow Lane
A blog about midlife, travel, adventure - and all things in between
Creative, non-monetary forms of payment
Photographs from my world.
Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams