30% OFF Pride collection code: USAPRIDE! Free Shipping over $99

A Leap of Faith

by S Ralph December 01, 2011

By: Shannon Ralph

I have this picture of my daughter that I love. It was taken last month during our annual autumn family apple orchard trip. She is standing about seven feet off the ground on a gigantic bale of hay. The sky is the most gorgeous crystal bright blue behind her. The pom-poms on her teddy bear hat are blowing in the wind. She is contemplating her next move.

All around Sophie children are screaming and laughing and jumping and pushing one another. Her brothers have already leapt from seven feet in the air onto the soft mounds of hay below. Sophie is debating doing the same. Her brothers are standing below her calling her name. “Jump, Sophie! You can do it!” Her fists are clenched in determination. There is a slight grin on her face. I can see the little wheels in her head turning. Trying to decipher the exact odds of experiencing uninhibited glee and joyful enthusiasm versus broken bones and gut-wrenching pain. Are the odds 50/50? 40/60? 30/70? She can’t decide. She wants so badly to leap. To step off that precipice into the unknown. At the same time, however, she is terrified of the consequences.

I know this feeling well. In the past two months, I quit a job. A part-time job. A safe job. An easy job. A job with little chance of advancement, but a job that asked little of me, as well. And I took a new job. A job that requires a lot of me. Expects great things from me. Assumes I am intelligent and capable and innovative. I, too, clenched my fists in determination. I, too, contemplated the probability of uninhibited glee and joyful enthusiasm versus broken bones and gut-wrenching pain. I, too, wanted desperately to step off that precipice into the unknown. And I did.

In the last two months, my partner quit her job, as well, and has become a stay-at-home mom for the first time in her life. For the first time ever, she is not working to support herself. She is counting on someone else —me—to provide for her financially. Coming from a lower-middle-class background, she grew up with very little money. She made a promise to herself that she would never go back to that place. She would never be dependent on another person. She would earn her own way in life. Yet, for the good of our family, she is putting her trust in me. She is leaping into the unknown.

In the last two months, my mother finally left her husband and, with nowhere else to go, moved into my spare bedroom. On a fixed income with little to her name, she found the courage to leave a marriage that made her miserable and embark on a journey of discovery. It’s not been an easy road. It’s not been an altogether pleasant experience. But she is making the best of it. My children are beyond excited to spend this time with their grandmother. And my mom is beginning to see glimpses again of the capable woman she has always been.

My house is inhabited by three generations of risk-takers. Four women who did not know their own strength until they were faced with a choice. Women who know fear, yet are capable of facing those fears and leaping into the unknown. Did Sophie jump from her perch in the sky on that crisp October morning? Did she muster all of the resolve in her tiny little body and leap to the soft hay below? You bet your ass she did!

And she giggled with glee the entire way down.

The post A Leap of Faith appeared first on The Next Family.

S Ralph
S Ralph


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016


Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment


By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →