Dare Ya

(Originally penned in October of 2014, and re-posted on Sept 2, 2021.)

I’m participating for the very first time this week in “5 Minute Friday” with katemotaung.com. I will confess that I am totally out of my comfort zone, with the timer set for five minutes and five minutes only, during which to write a blog post. I’m contemplating cheating/not really You know, Gentle Reader, how I go on . . . and on . . . but punching holes in that durn comfort zone is a good thing, right?

So here we go . . .

*setting timer*


This week’s prompt is “Dare.”

Little Mack is 8, and I am . . . not 8. Nor 28. Not even 38. Nope. I’m not gonna tell you how old I am, but the thing is–I’m old enough to pause and reflect when he asks me to hop onto his little plastic tractor with him and ride “as fast as the wind, Mom,” down our block-long concrete driveway.

I’m old enough to think twice. To imagine the mess of limbs, scraped knees, bruised elbows, and possible concussions, should we turn the tractor over and skid across the cement. I’ve seen how fast he goes when he and his cousin Luke travel on that little job. But they are so young. And mendable. And soft, and bouncy. And I’m . . . not.

“C’mon, Mom,” he coaxes. He wheedles. He tilts his head and grins up at me. “It’s fun. And anyway . . .

” . . . I dare ya.”

I take a deep breath. I wonder when I first started to overthink these kinds of decisions. When did I get so protective of my elbows and my knees, I wonder. Since I hurt my ankle two years ago, making it practically impossible to run any longer? When I did something to my knee (I don’t even know what–!) that makes it so difficult to walk up the stairs without pain?

When did I decide that I needed to protect myself a bit more? When did I decide that maybe I was too old to “ride as fast as the wind” down the driveway with my little boy?

I make a decision. Mack and I trudge up the driveway, and he is happy. I smile at him warily as he beams up at me. “You’re gonna love it, Mom,” he says. “We can go so much faster, with the both of us. So much more weight involved . . . ”

I narrow my eyes at him, and he shrugs and gives me a goofy grin, his little endearing gap between his two front teeth. “Well . . . . ?” he says. “I only weigh 53 pounds, Mom.”

So we are settled on the tractor, me on the seat, and he shows me how to steer it. I take a deep breath, and he starts to push . . . faster and faster and then he jumps on the back and we ride, careening, wobbling, skidding.

Fast as the wind. Sure enough. He wasn’t kidding.

And I wonder, as we whoop and holler and scream all the way down our block-long driveway . . . I wonder why I spend so much of my time pulling weeds and toiling over laundry and reading things that don’t really matter, and not more time doing this.

We finally come to a stop and we are breathless, both of us, with laughter and joy.

“Let’s do it again,” I say, and my son grins.

22 thoughts on “Dare Ya

  1. Bethany M.

    Wow. I LOVED this post, Mom. SO beautifully written, and a great ending. Good for you. So happy you are joining the Five Minute Friday ranks! My question is, did you cheat? You can message me privately. 🙂 Sometimes I begin writing the FMF post, and I end up writing so long I don’t make it a FMF post at all, but it does get me writing. And other days I do adhere to the five minutes, and love it. Glad you linked up! Be sure to add your link to Kate’s website!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thanks daught, and no I didn’t cheat . . . although I did sit for several minutes and compose the post in my head before I started writing. You know how slowly my brain works . . . It was really fun! I’m glad to be part of the 5 Minute Friday ranks!

  2. Pingback: Dare to Be Scared | Second Breakfast

  3. Nathana Clay (theengagedhome.com)

    This is a beautiful example of getting back to the things that really matter in life. I get so caught up in the cooking and the cleaning and things that are good, and even important, but sometimes in the process I neglect the relationships and moments that are SO much more valuable and lasting in importance. The kitchen will be dirty again after dinner, but making a memory with your child can last a lifetime! Thanks for sharing! Next Friday I will have to try this “5 minute” challenge!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I hope you do join up, Nathana! It’s fun to write such a quick post, without stressing over editing or re-writing.

  4. Alana(@RamblinGarden)

    I wish I had known about the five minute challenge, because my post for today was written during the time I would normally be getting ready for work. I had a different post already scheduled but something moved me to blog about breast cancer in men. And tonight, there was such a nice post-sunset that I ran outside like a woman on a mission, just snapping picture after picture. I’m tempted to take that challenge, Amy. Thanks to you and your daughter for telling me about it. (Oh yes – I liked your post. )

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I’ve been watching daughter Bethie post the 5-minute challenge for the past few weeks, and wishing that I had the courage to join her (I mean, really, 5 minutes? It’s so hard to stop!) and I’m so glad I finally did. It was a fun exercise, and I proved to myself that I CAN write short. When pressed. 😉

  5. Bee Love

    Woot! I’m not 38 either and my 10yo loves taking his sister’s (she’s 3) plastic wagon down the drive-way. You are braver than I.
    I remember when I was eight and we would take the old radio flyer-back when they were made of sturdy metal-and fly down the grassy hill. We bent the handle.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I’m old enough, Bee, to remember vividly clattering and rolling down the broken sidewalk near our home on roller skates that clipped onto my shoes. Yup. That old. I still have scars across my knees from the times I fell on those broken sidewalks, too.

  6. Mary

    So I wrote out this awesome comment, but had a sarcastic response to your Anti-Spam Quiz, that resulted in Wrong Answer try again… so sorry.. I refuse to re-write my original comment. To physically respond to an Anti-Spam Quiz plus check the box to ensure I am not a spammer, only to have my post rejected because the response to the spam question wasnt liked is ridiculous.

  7. chef William

    I enjoyed the article but I am willing to bet that you can not produce one of your great articles in 5 minutes. and as we age, it becomes “what’s the point” we are writing because we enjoy it. We like to tell our story and the story in your articles is what you are really good at. Please don’t chop up your stories to reach a 5-minute goal. If you must do the 5 minutes Friday thing, write one of the articles you are famous for on say Tuesday then on Friday just write a small recap that leads us back to the full article.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      “Famous for,” my dear chef friend?? You give me much too much credit. We have been friends for a long time, haven’t we? Our friendship dates clear back to when we were doing those daily blogging challenges and I treasured your advice then, and I do still now. As soon as I read your words, I knew that you had a very good point! Thank you for your honest assessment of my writing, and for being such a good friend.

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