Skating on thin ice

Consistent temperatures well below freezing have brought all sorts of adventures for the boys already this winter, even without precipitation.  We’ve stopped the car on side roads to break giant ice-cycles off of dripping fire hydrants.  We’ve learned that no matter the temperature, Oaks still prefers no shoes or coat.  He’s also the only one who’s stayed well.  Go figure.  I’ve learned that when it rarely ever freezes for this many days in a row, one must clearly articulate that there is to be NO STEPPING OUT ONTO THE LAKE.

Not even a little toe!

This year the lake froze over for the first time since the boys have been big enough to be out exploring alone.  So naturally, the first day they noticed it, they wanted to run down to “check it out” with their friends.  I obviously should have known better.  I said, “Okay.  But no one goes near it.  Do NOT try to walk on it.  Okay?”  “Okay Mom!”  The next thing I know, I see them out the window, running down the street sopping wet, freezing cold.

“What in the world happened?!” 

“We threw a rock to try to break the ice and it didn’t.  He was just trying to reach the rock.  He barely put a toe out there and fell right in!  We all had to help him get out.”

Because of course.  That’s how it all starts.  Just barely a toe.

Sometimes, that happens in our lives too. 

We think we’re just making a tiny little commitment.  We’re just saying yes to that one more thing we feel pressured to do, even thought we know we probably shouldn’t.  Sometimes the ice holds.  Sometimes it gives.  And before we know it, we’re sinking.  It takes all our strength and usually the support of a few good friends to get ourselves out.

What to learn from this? 

  1.  Don’t go exploring the edge of the frozen lake alone.  Keep your friends close.
  2. Know your limits.  Pay attention to your personal boundaries.
  3. Don’t step out on the frozen lake past your limits.  Not even a toe.
  4. What appears to be one small reaching step, just to appease someone else, can easily turn into much more than your bargained for.

Saying yes to the things you know are probably just beyond the reach of your bandwidth, is quite literally like skating on thin ice.

That little reach is rarely worth the risk.  

to more love,


(We’ll be talking about care of you, and setting appropriate boundaries as part of our “Love it Out GNO” in two weeks.  If you want to get better at this, check it out!)

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