Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Improv Wisdom?

On the day Jack turned 14, he and I were at the beach by ourselves waiting for the rest of our family to arrive the next day.

Since it was just the two of us, I thought it would be a good time to try one of the exercises from the Improv Wisdom book that I've been attempting to follow this Summer. The exercise comes from the Chapter titled Say Yes:

try this:
For one day say yes to everything. Set your own preferences aside. Notice the results. See how often it many not be convenient or easy to do this.

OK. So, unbeknownst to Jack, I wake up on his birthday with the intention of saying yes to everything he says or wants to do that day. I was doing really well until around 11am when I was stupid enough to ask:

"Hey Jack. What would you like to do today for your birthday?"

Without hesitation, he answers,

"I want you to go on that slingshot ride with me."

OK. For those of you who don't know what that is, here's what it looks like from the boardwalk.

He'd been asking me to go on this ride all Summer and I'd always said, "No WAY". Until his birthday.

Oh my. Doesn't life have a funny way of playing jokes on us. He had no idea the answer would be yes when he asked. So, I answered,

"Yes, let's go!" while hysterically giggling to myself in complete and utter fear.

Meanwhile, Jack's whole face lit up like a man who won the lottery. So, we jumped on our bikes and pedaled toward the boardwalk and toward what I was sure was going to be our deaths.

Before getting on, I did call Jim to tell him thanks for being the love of my life....and then we climbed in.

Here's what happened next...

You'll notice at one point, Jack worries about me and reaches across to pat my hand. What you can't hear at about 1:09 seconds into the video is him asking,

"Hey Mom, we can go half-price if we go again right away..."

And without hesitating, I say,

"S_ _ _ No!"

And then I realize that, not only had I cussed, but I had said no.

I took back my "no" and told him I'd go again...but he was too worried about my mental health so we only went once.

My favorite part of the video (minus the hand pat) is how hard he belly laughs when he hears me cuss. It's just the greatest.

Improv Wisdom? Who knows.

You can be the judge of that.

But I can't tell you how grateful I am for living to tell the tale.


Judy S. said...

Has your blood pressure returned to normal yet? You're one BRAVE woman, Susan. And I'm sure that's one memory your son will carry with him all of his life!

Marty52 said...

You're one crazy lady, Susan! But you can be he WILL remember that the rest of his life... what a great gift for his 14th birthday!!

Robin said...


Catherine said...

Oh my!!! Great for you and for Jack - but I'm sure I would have said more than S--- No!

He'll remember that always!! Good job Mom!

Mary Corbet said...

Oh gosh. I laughed all the way through this. Hilariously and out loud!! Looks like Jack is laughing his head off! Glad you survived it!

(I'm still laughing!)



Elmsley Rose said...


I would have 'had an accident' I think!

You're a great Mum!

Radka said...

Rather you then me!

Gerry Krueger said...

I don't know Susan but that Jack is a pretty smart cookie... Don't you think that by 11am he might have noticed no "nos".. In fact he might be reading the same book!!! You've got to step pretty quickly to stay up with a 14-year-old.


a2susan said...

I bet your going on that ride was the best birthday present Jack ever had! And it looks like he had a blast.

Lisa said...

How great that you actually went! What a great birthday for Jack ~ one that neither of you will EVER forget! That said, had it been me, I think I would have backed out no matter what my good intentions were to begin with!! Can't tell you how much I admire you for carrying through!

Bellesanbeaus said...

Wow I so admire your stick-to-it-ness!!! And I think you were due the cuss!!!! lol Your a totally awsome Mom! Beth

Whytefeather said...

Very brave of you!! I do have to say that I am so glad both of mine are grown so that if I practice a day of Yes ... hopefully they would not nail me on something like THAT!

Bravo to you for being daring and going on the ride in spite of your fear!

verobirdie said...

OMG! you are brave, I just could not.
But nonetheless, you seem to have had fun.

Dees said...

What a hell of a ride that must have been! You are the hero of Jack's B-day, that's for sure (and if he thinks otherwise let me know so I can tell him LOL).
What fun to hear your voice, even if it was screaming. You can't imagine how much I wondered what you would sound like if we were to meet in person.
Glad to know that you are alive and in one piece after this sling-shot at life.

Ati. said...

OOO Susan, looked at both videos twice !! and I couldn't stop laughing when I saw you and Jack bouncing up and down and heard your screaming. Grow never old, keep always a piece of child in you :)

Heather J. said...

I'll tell you what, Jack will never EVER forget this birthday. :) You go girl!

Maureen said...

Can't wait to meet you girl!! I thought from other posts that you'd probably do about anything, but now I know.

black bear cabin said...

that was AWESOME!!! i LMAO watching the video...as did Jack :) That will be something he remembers forever...you will be glad you said yes...maybe not right away...but someday ;)

Carol said...

OK, spill your guts, how'd you get a video of that ride? Is that what they do at amusement parks now. It used to be just a picture.

I would LOVE that ride!! I have always loved roller coasters, but no spinny rides.

So, tell us, what ELSE did you say yes to?

Michelle said...

No way - not never ever could I have done that - I have a nervous twitch just watching it lol. Well done you! Well done Jack too for getting u on the day that you just had to say YES!!

Elizabeth said...

Lovely concept, not at all sure that I could do it!!!! You are one brave Chica!!!! Love the video of the two of you and the fact that you had the sense to react so positively on his birthday- a memory he will treasure always.

Proud pfo Jack for being concerned about your mental health!!!!!

Robin said...

Oh dear, dear Susan! You actually did this???? It will be a family legacy, no doubt.

Did you get into Iprov Wisdom because of my recommendation? I totally LOVE that book. Need to read it again. PRM says she'd like to team teach a workshop with me. Wouldn't that be a hoot?!

I've been off the beadlust and related blogs radar for a while, but am trying to stage a comeback... nice to see you're still here. I love your sea weed snow-days project idea!

Robin A.

Loralynn said...

The best part of the whole video is when Jack reaches over and pats your hand. Very telling on what a thoughtful, loving young man he has become. That would have made the whole experience worth while to me!

Patricia Ryan Madson said...

OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!! I can't imagine a better advertisement for Improv Wisdom than these videos. You are my shero! Triple wow. I was in Ireland when you posted this, so I'm late in commenting. But, I have to say that YOU embody the spirit and practice of Improv Wisdom. Thank you, thank you.

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