The risk takers.

Ryan recently wrote his first blog about sports and ended it with a sentence “After all, what is life without risk?” One of my dear friends, after reading his blog wanted to know what risks he had taken in his life thus far. Like a good publicist, I forwarded the question to the almost seven year old author, and smiled at him patronizingly expecting him to shrug and say ‘I don’t know!’ I thought he had written that line because it sounded good as a conclusion to his blog. He was quiet for a while and then came up with this “When Mrs._ asks us the spelling of a word I don’t know, I hear the sounds and try to guess the spelling. I raise my hand to give it a try, I take a risk then! My teacher always praises us for taking risks. When I balance on a log to go across a stream, I get scared I may fall, but I still try. And when I can do it, I feel very good about myself. That is taking risk. I didn’t know if I could swim a mile in the swim team practice, but I volunteered to do it anyway. I took a risk. Are these good examples?” I was amazed. These are not just good examples, they are great examples.

Taking risks begin when they let go of our fingers for the first time and enter the gates of preschool. What a huge risk that is, to leave the comfort of mom, home and everything familiar for the first time to go to a structured environment of work and play. Taking risks doesn’t
stop there, every new thing they try in their young lives is taking a chance, be it answering a question they are not sure about, in front of a room full of peers, diving off the block in the deep end of the pool, walking the halls of dreaded middle school at age eleven or navigating through the rocky roads of adolescence. But they do it, fearfully at first, and then with confidence, taking chances and growing a little bigger with each success.

I was happy he didn’t turn around and ask me “What risk are you taking in your life, Mom?” I wouldn’t have an answer for him. What chances am I taking these days? My partner in crime is trying to make a difference in the world, I tell myself I am keeping his world together so he can do his job well. That is my contribution to the world, vicariously, but that doesn’t seem convincing enough in my own mind any more.

I am considering bungee jumping on my next birthday. And just so you know, I am afraid of heights.


3 thoughts on “The risk takers.

  1. I knew Ryan would never have written a line just because it sounded good. He is too much of a thoughtful person. So so glad I was right! Phew, that was one risk that turned out GOOD for me! 🙂 Hugs Ryan, from a lady whom you have never seen…may be we can be long-distance friends!
    Piyali, you are taking the risk of letting your children grow up with their own thoughts and approach. To me it is a great risk and a matter of great wisdom and control over one self as a loving parent not to force feed your own worldview to your children. you are excelling at risk taking. 🙂


  2. Was great reading it….Very inspiring! Ryan’s always been wise beyond his years & a very sincere li’l boy who would never say or do something just for effect, so u can be pretty much sure that he’s drawing on experiences & activities from his own life when he writes that life’s worthwhile only when one takes some risks & u are taking a huge risk yourself in allowing your kids to think freely & act independently while guiding them constantly! Awesome job, Sean & Piyali Callahan!


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