Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bracing For Impact

One of the wonderful and unexpected joys of motherhood I have experienced is the wisdom I pick up on from my daughter. That’s right, I learn from my 6 year old daughter. I learn that timeouts are good for relaxing and that farting gives you energy! Lol. But, really, I am so taken by her imagination, her creativity, and her amazingly giving heart. She inspires me daily.

This weekend I took her roller-skates out for some fun. I wouldn’t let her leave the house without the proper safety precautions – helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves. Once she was strapped in we set off. She held my hand for most of our time outside (even though she didn’t want too) but I did let her skate on her own as I stood back and almost had a heart attack. That was my baby, and my responsibility was to protect her from harm. If I could help her avoid hurting herself then I had too…right? Instead I took a step back. Even though she was nervous, she skated (not too fast) and flashed her million dollar smile as she was becoming more confident on her skates. And off she went. She wobbled and even fell once, but she got back up, dusted herself off, and skated some more.

I *knew* she could skate on her own, but I wanted to do everything I could to ensure she was safe. This got me thinking how much I spend my life bracing for impact, just waiting for something to happen. As a single parent, I don’t have much room to spread my wings and fly. The amount of responsibility I have is enormous, I have a child who needs and depends on me, and me only. So because of this, there is little room for error in my eyes. But, my precious daughter taught me another important lesson, one that I may have known, but have forgotten. As much as you try to protect yourself, and avoid potentially unsafe situations, there are some things you cannot avoid. When you choose to live your life always bracing for impact, you miss these crucial experiences that help shape you. No one is perfect, and I am sure far from it. You may fall, you may hurt yourself, but you don’t have to stay there. You get back up and go forward, you keep trying, you keep living.