Fair warning: I’m about to get all Blubbery Mom in this post.
My oldest is almost six (which is insanity, really) and has always been timid in the face of new experiences. We’ve embraced this part of her personality, allowing her to only dive in as far as she’s comfortable with. We encourage new experiences and stand by her side, but when she says she doesn’t want to do something, we respect her opinion.
And lately, she’s surprised us with her bravery. I mean, she’s always been brave…don’t get me wrong. But the past few months she’s been growing right in front of our eyes. From initially deciding she doesn’t want to do something because she’s scared, to changing her mind but only doing part of the event, to deciding to jump in with both feet.
Now these things aren’t experiences that put her life in immense danger (Though, with a peanut and hazelnut allergy, every day comes with this risk) but to her, my bright and creative girl, they were very big things.
And she tackled the fear and found herself having fun, building friendships, and finding that exhaustion that comes with a day full of new and awesome experiences. And I found myself teary-eyed watching her, not because she’s growing up (okay, maybe a little bit) but because she’s growing in how she sees life.
This past weekend, she said something to me that reverberated to my core.
“Mom! Did you see me? At first I was scared, but then I remembered what you and Daddy said about how sometimes the scary things turn out to be the funnest. And that was SO much fun!”
Her bright grin and sparkling eyes summed up her elation, even if her words hadn’t been spoken. She was having the best day ever and I got to witness it. And I got to absorb the lessons I was teaching her.
See, I’ve been struggling on the writing front, second (and third, and fourth) guessing my abilities and my drive and my dreams. Partially because of rejection and partially out of fear. Because I might fail again. Because I may not be the best person to write a certain story or genre or whatever. Because the market is a hard place to break into.
Fear. And so I stewed and cried and jotted down story ideas that were lame and frustrating. And then my kiddo slayed me with her bravery and I decided I must be brave too. Writing is putting yourself down on paper, is a lot of time spent alone, and then you must prepare for rejection in hopes of finding that one YES.
I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, writing something I’ve never fully invested myself in before. It’s exciting, but that is edged by newbie fears. I’m taking my kiddo’s lead and pushing past the fear in hopes that this is the funnest day ever. And if it’s not, I’ll try again, because that next experience might be.
So, for my daughter, I’m being brave and setting out to conquer my fears. Because she inspires me every day.