Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Go ahead and jump


There's a park around here that one of my daughters really loves. She calls it The Wooden Park, and I suppose that makes sense, because it is, indeed, overwhelmingly wooden. It's not right around the corner, and so we don't visit it often. And by "not often" I mean...maybe once a year. This last time we were there, she (being Molly) was hell bent on finally tackling this rope swing. Only she was really quite afraid to actually take that literal leap of faith and jump. Her brother and sister both showed her how "easy" it was and demonstrated how no harm would come of her. There were words of coaxing on my part, phrased carefully as to not imply pressure, nor failure if she chose to climb off the tire and go back to the swings and slides. We knew that she could do it, but that hardly mattered: SHE needed to figure that out for herself.

And so we waited. Casually. Patiently. Empathetically. Because I remember that feeling. The nagging voice that says "What if I fall?", "What if I hurt myself?", "What if I try...and FAIL?"

Pouring over this picture I think about courage. Courage isn't about not being afriad. Courage is about being afraid and overcoming the fear.

This was a triumph for her and a reminder to me: Go ahead and jump.

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