“Let’s just try it” he suggested.
I hesitated right away. I offered up a dozen reasons why I felt like he wasn’t ready to try the next level up on the ski hill. I tried to appease him by saying that maybe we would be ready to try the harder runs on our next trip to the hill.
He stood his ground. “I know we can do it” he insisted. “We have to at least try it”
Truth is, my hesitation was more because of my own fear.
I am afraid of a lot.
I’m afraid of falling. I’m afraid of getting hurt.
I’m afraid of failure.
I am both amazed and in awe at my kids lack of fear.
My daughter shows no nerves when she dances on a stage in front of hundreds of people. She goes through her routine, all smiles, standing tall and proud without hesitation.
My son pushes himself physically in ways that terrify me. If you even question his ability to do something he will show you that he’s capable. He is constantly pushing his body to run faster or jump higher and he almost always accomplishes what he sets out to achieve.
Last year we made a trip across Canada to visit my brother in Canmore, Alberta. My brother and his children are avid snowboarders and we were lucky enough to get out on the mountain with them.
Near the end of the day, my brother took us up a hill that he assured me we would be able to tackle. Once I got up there I panicked. My panic turned to anger and I exploded. Mid-meltdown my brother turned to me and pointed out that my daughter was fine on the hill, it was me who had the problem.
It was a bit of an eye opening moment for me.
The last thing I want is for my fears to hold my kids back.
My brother was right. Both myself and my daughter were fully capable of skiing down the hill he had taken us on. I had let my fear take over and convince myself that we couldn’t do it.
My daughter wasn’t at all apprehensive. In fact, she was confident. I was the one who was anxious.
I had to make a conscious decision to not allow my fears to hold my kids back.
My kids shouldn’t be too frightened to explore the world around them and push themselves. In the end all that will do is hold themselves back.
As my son continued to reassure me that we were ready to move on to the next level I decided to trust him. I allowed him to push me out of my comfort zone.
Without overthinking it I said “Let’s do it”
My kids cheered out loud.
I was terrified.
It turned out to be our favourite run. I watched, in complete amazement, as they both raced down the hill, tackling it with both enthusiasm and grace.
We spent the rest of the day pushing ourselves to do more. This time I followed along instead of putting up the barrier.
I am learning to balance between keeping them safe and letting them find their own boundaries. I can’t always be with them out there in the world, they need to learn to trust their own instincts and know their own capabilities.
I need to trust their instincts. Time after time they prove to me that they have really good instincts.
At the end of our last run that day, as the sun was going down, he turned to me and said “I’m so proud of you Mom, you did it”
The funny thing is that I always thought that I would be that gentle encouraging push for my children but it turns out that sometimes they are the ones to push me.