I took the kids to the park yesterday. It was a beautiful, unseasonable warm day. It was the first time Calvin has been able to play outside at the park since he could really walk. He loved walking, almost running, in the mulch. He loved pulled the wagon around the parking lot and didn't even mind falling into the bushes. He loved the tunnel slide and always went down on his belly. This caused me to freak out last night while I was getting him ready for bed because he had little scratches on his belly. I first worried that he was having a reaction to his shots yesterday until I remembered the belly slide rides.
One time, I was at the bottom of the slide and Laci was going to go down head first, upside down. She wanted me to stand at the bottom because she was afraid. "Nervous" is one of her new emotions and she talks a lot about being nervous. My first response was "If you are scared, don't go down that way." No one was forcing her to do it. It wasn't particularly dangerous. But then I realized that I was having one of those parent moments. It's not the big lessons that kids learn from. It's the every day ones. If I continue to say, "If you are scared, don't do it", she will be scared. She won't do it. That will be imprinted in her. That is what she will learn. So I told her that she should go down and reminded her that I was right there to catch her. Just like in life, I will always be right there to catch her. She went down and was fine. She went back to the top and we repeated that moment of nervousness. This time I told her that she was fine the first time and she didn't need to be scared. This led to several more rides down the slide upside down. A few minutes later, another little girl came to the park and they were instantly BFFs. I love this age where they are all friends.
Fear and nervousness are on my mind a lot. My own fears. My own anxiety. Charlie's fear of the unknown. I feel like we are at a crossroads about several different things in our lives. I just don't know what. Something small? Something big? Fear of the unknown is holding us back. I try to remind Charlie that I will always be there to catch him and vice versa. More importantly, God will never let us fall. But it so much harder to trust and to take risks as an adult. I pray that we both remain open to listen to what God tells us and to be trusting in Him.
Our pastor posted this quote on the newsletter this month from Guillaume Apollinaire. This is what I want to teach my children. This is what I want to learn.
“Come to the edge.”
“We can’t. We are afraid.”
“Come to the Edge.”
“We can’t. We will fall.”
“Come to the edge.”
And they came.
And He pushed them.
And they flew.