Over Another Edge

In my debut home page on this site, I spoke of going over the edge — specifically dropping over the lip of Horn Creek Rapid in the Grand Canyon, a feeling that is unique and memorable. In contrast, the photo above depicts an edge I wouldn't care to go over, in a boat, or barrel, or with bells on.

It was taken by my twelve-year-old daughter Elena, who has a twin Olivia. They traveled on their own, without an escort, to relatives in Toronto from San Francisco. They even changed planes in Chicago. In a way, that was their own little precipice, but one they gladly jumped off.

As a parent, it's a constant internal struggle between wanting to protect them from the steep drops of their lives, and giving them the space to navigate those edges themselves. Most drops will be like Horn Creek — scary, perhaps, but not fatal and something from which you learn. A few may be like Niagara — disastrous if not fatal. All we can do is to try to teach our children to know the difference.

This may not make the letting go much easier, but it's what parents do.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, up close and personal; photos by Elena Tennant.