Aeriel silks at home


Lupine started taking aeriel silks last year. (I shared her first performance with you along with my reflections on the profound value of this practice for her here.)

Her teacher is amazing: tough as nails (like nothing my kids have ever experienced) but unbelievably invested, committed, and loving to the kids in her care. It’s the perfect temperament for something like this, which requires the kids to be safe but to also feel safe. I can’t imagine a better combination than Francia.

And since Lupine attended her first class, she’s been aware that having a silk at home would not only improve her skills, but also be a ridiculous amount of fun.

With that in mind, every dollar she was gifted or earned during the past year (mostly from her play dough business) went into the bank, earmarked for a silk.

Finally, she had saved enough, and waited long enough to be certain this was what she wanted. And – at long last – she bought her silk. (She chose this kit since it included the hardware she needed as well and this basic mat since it’s good enough for basic protection, and she won’t be doing drops at home. afflinks)


There was a bit of a bump in the road after her silk arrived, when the color was not what we expected. As online ordering can so often go, what we got didn’t look one bit like the photo. It happens.

So the classy raspberry silk she expected arrived in full-on no-apologies hot pink instead. We decided to sleep on it (the keep-or-return decision, not the silk itself), and lo and behold, that crazy color grew on her. She decided that hot pink forever was better than waiting another two weeks for raspberry.

With a dusting of snow still on the ground (and more in the forecast) we searched the house for an appropriate(ish) indoor site. Then together, she and I found a stud in the kitchen ceiling and installed the screw eye.

And she was off.

silks inside

A quick sidebar here: our house is small.

Really small.

And our kitchen – already doing double-duty as the place we cook (and do a pleothra of other kitchen-things) and serving as our makeshift family room – became our aeriel silks studio as well.

It was a little nuts, but a lot of fun too. How could it not be?

But, yeah. The house is feeling smaller than ever with her dangling there between the wood stove and the oven as I attempt to cook dinner.

Finally, yesterday, the last of the snow had melted and the thermometer was on the rise. When it hit a balmy 52 F, it was time. (Click on any photo to see a full-sized version.)

Lupine corralled Pete in the workshop and convinced him to help her hang the silk in the big maple tree in the yard. With the help of an extension ladder and our bag of unused climbing gear, they set to work.

They began by taking her horsie tire swing down, a gift from my dad on her second birthday. Seeing it laying in the yard as her silk was slowly lifted into position? The poetry was not lost on me.

And before long her silk was in the air, and so was she.

As a mom, aeriel silks is a lot like other parts of my parenting journey.

We beam at their skills, cheer on their efforts, marvel at their strengths.

And we do our best to not make that terrified gasp sound loud enough for them to hear.

Make no mistake, it’s serious internal work to watch your baby hand from her ankles five feet off the ground with no safety ropes, suspended above a mat that’s only 2″ thick and probably 1/2 the surface area it should be.

(Because: gravity.)

But like teaching a teenager to drive (something else we’re embarking on at the moment) or trusting that your kids will make safe choices when we’re not by their sides, it all an exercise in letting go.

In trust.

In allowing.

And so we do.

We trust her teacher, her knowledge, her skills, and her strength. We trust the tree roots, it’s branches, and the hardware and knots that hold her.

We trust all of these things and more.

Both here, as she dangles suspended in thin air, and – yes – as she sets off on her own out into the world.

Love, trust, allowing…

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

5 thoughts on “Aeriel silks at home

  1. Tina B. says:

    Lupine’s happiness is palpable in your (as always) beautiful photos. The silk looks like a lot of fun. Enjoy, mama!

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