Leap of Faith

We were racing against sunset as we hiked up the rocky hill to get to the cliffs to jump into the bay.

It was our first day camping at Killbear and we had just finished dinner. We had decided we would do cliff jumping the following day, but T was insistent, so the hubby and I decided, why the hell not.

We quickly got changed and hiked towards the cliff as the golden hour sun bathed the rocks, trees, beach and scenic Georgian Bay.

Jumping off these rocks is tradition at Killbear, one the hubby and I first discovered with friends over a decade ago and one we were excited to introduce to T when we first took him camping at age 1.

At age 5, in 2020, he leapt off the rocks for the first time, quite fearlessly.

I thought the three of us were the only ones dumb enough to be doing this close to night, but the spot was still busy.

I love that this is an all ages activity, parents passing down this past time to their children, older kids coaching younger kids, everyone patiently waiting their turn and cheering others on.

The hubby and I quickly jumped in and the cold refreshing water woke us up faster than coffee.

Surprisingly, T hesitated… and hesitated… until the sun went down and we had to call it a day.

He said he wasn’t scared of jumping, but rather, the water looked very cold. No worries nor biggie.

We went back the following afternoon, but the bay was like a wave pool – the strong winds had gusts up to 50 km per hour! – so we enjoyed watching stronger swimmers jump instead.

It was on Sunday morning, before going home, that we headed out for an early morning jump – our final outdoor swim for the summer.

The water was calm and T was determined and, with minimal hesitation, he jumped in.

My heart soared with him.

T first made this jump before at age 5, but it felt different this time.

It was the three-day build up, the determination to do it despite his initial hesitation, and it was the steps that took us there.

Life with a child with FASD requires us to be regimented with structure, as routines help our often impulsive kids build predictability, ease transitions and minimize meltdowns.

Disability or not, adults fall into set ways, our brains wired to follow structure and avoid risks that deviate from our patterns – because life experiences teach us to know better.

And on most days, who the hell has the time and energy when we’re just trying to make it to the end of our day in tact.

But we can all learn from kids like T, to live in the moment… to be spontaneous.

T may not have made that jump that first evening, but going up to those rocks treated us to an unexpected time, as we enjoyed a glorious sunset by the cliffs.

These painting-like views will be cemented in my mind for quite some time.

They remind me of what’s possible when you just give in and take a leap of faith.

30 thoughts on “Leap of Faith

    1. Hi Faith, letting you know your blog might have a bit of a bug. I can’t comment on your two recent posts and they also don’t load on your WordPress page.

  1. Glad to hear that your camping trip to Killbear was off to a great start, or rather splash! We have yet to try cliff jumping, but it looks like a lot of fun. Glad to hear that T was able to give it a whirl before leaving. Looks like you had fabulous weather. Your pictures, especially when the sun is setting, are beautiful.

    1. Thanks Linda. It was an amazing trip. I wish we were still there. You can take your little one there one day and do it as a family! 😊💕

  2. What a gorgeous spot! Holy moly! Looks like you all had a blast! And T kept his impulsivity in check and didn’t jump without thinking first. Go T!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. It is a beautiful park and one of my happy places in the world. And I’m glad you and a few others picked up on T’s impulse control. A win for sure! 🙏

  3. So good for him not jumping just because; he is thinking before leaping and that is a good thing! I know the rocks you are talking about and funny enough, when the water is cold, that is probably the only way you can get me in the water 🙂

    1. Thanks Margie. I agree, I love that he was so thoughtful about his decision. I’m glad you’re familiar with those rocks, they are such a wonderful part of the park experience. And yes, the cold water is a great incentive to go in. It just wakes you right up!

    1. Thanks Jill. He is certainly a brave kid and I’m glad he took that leap of faith. 😊 Hope you have a nice week ahead. First day of school over here. Summer just flew by!

      1. Ahhhh … that wonderful first day of school! Ours started back about 3 weeks ago! Our local schools are a bit distressed at the moment, for the bus drivers are on strike! Parents are whining about having to take their kids to school, but I side with the drivers. I drove a school bus for many years, and it’s not an easy job!

      2. Wow, you start school early. Hope it means you end early too. And I hear you on the bus situation. It’s frustrating but a necessity for fairer wages and conditions.

      3. Well, until the last few winters, it was assumed, usually rightfully so, that there would be 10 or more snow days, so they start early rather than have to go longer into the summer. The past few winters have been so mild that there were few, if any snow days, so they may eventually re-think the start date. The bus drivers are striking more because of surveillance cameras recently placed on the buses than about pay, though I understand that pay is also part of the negotiations.

    1. Thank you, Belle! We love his adventurous spirit. And I’m glad you picked up on the fact that it took him three days to jump. For a kid who’s very impulsive, I was heartened to see him think through his decision with care. 💕

  4. Cliff jumping is something I struggle with. I’m just never able to do it. My fear always takes over my senses. So it’s really brave of T to do that at the age of 5! I should learn more from him about overcoming my fear and hesitation. I believe this experience will be one of his fondest memories from childhood when he’s grown up one day. And what a nice memory it is with that glorious sunset!

    1. Thanks Bama. It is certainly not for everyone and I find that as I get older, my nerves get the better of me at times. 😊 I bet you have lots of wonderful scenery to cliff jump off in Indonesia.

      And I do hope this weekend will be a lasting memory for him. It certainly is for me. 💕

  5. Honestly Ab, I’m with T on how cold that water looks! Also not a heights person so jumping off a rock even into warm water wouldn’t have been a choice. So glad he thought things through and was able to make a confident decision for himself 🙂

    1. Thanks Deb. Yes, the water was certainly very refreshing. 😆 And I’m glad you picked up on him making the decision. For an impulsive child, I was heartened to see him think through his decision with care. 💕

  6. Love, love, love, Ab! And don’t you think that it’s the leaps that take us a while to build up to that we remember most? I love that you enjoyed the sunsets and encouragement along the way as you patiently waited until T was ready to go. It seems he’s learning to listen to his inner wisdom.

    So glad you all had such a fun adventure on your camping trip! Here’s to a great school year ahead!

    1. Thanks Wynne. I think the leap will be the most memorable for the reasons you said, the build up and that meal of faith to finally do it. And you are so right, I am glad he thought through his decision with care. 💕

      Best wishes to you and the kids with back to school today and this week. Still trying to get our T up. 😆

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