Let me start by saying we have been going through a rough patch with Chase. There has been attitude and drama that I thought I wouldn’t see until the teen years. It’s been ugly… and sadly most of that is my reaction considering he is 5 and I am *ahem* older.
As we all are, I’m a work in progress and I realize this. I forgive myself (and ask for forgiveness) and try to start each day brand new.
All that being said, there are those moments that stand out as ones you will cherish as long as you live. This past Tuesday had a couple of those moments. A friend and I decided to check out a homeschoolers day at a local recreation park (Antietam Recreation for anyone who is interested!) We thought it would be interesting… maybe we could sit in on a seminar they were having… maybe we could meet some other homeschooling mamas… you know, get involved. Yeah… we had the youngest kids there… and by youngest I mean years younger than most of the other kids. Whoops… oh well. We quickly ruled out any seminars and just decided to explore.
First came the horse rides. Chase wavered from yes, then a hearty no when he got up close to the horse, then decided to try it… spurred on by his friend E’s insistant “just do it Chase!” I was so proud that he did it… he conquered a fear and rode the horse. Moment #1.
Then we explored some more. Chase and E went on the swinging carousel.
I snuggled with my baby (while he’s still THE baby!)
We all took a wagon ride.
The kids bounced while the mamas sat back and marveled at the energy they possess.
Then we came to a ropes course and Chase watched several kids hold on and glide easily over a landing pad. He asked if he could try. I of course said sure and he gave it his all…
and promptly fell to the ground… not hard, the counselor and I were there to ‘catch’ him. Regardless of actual injury, his pride was hurt and he started to cry. I pulled him aside and tried my best to explain that trying and failing is better than not trying at all… and rarely are we great, or even good, at something the first time we try. He eventually calmed down and moved on. He did bring it up a couple times and I just repeated myself over and over again… hoping that this lesson would sink in. Fingers crossed.
Chase then caught wind of the canoes on the water and from then on out couldn’t think of doing anything else. We had to go boating… to which his little brother was in complete agreement.
I was not in agreement.
However, when in Rome…
I think my face says it all. But I did it. I got in the canoe and I paddled around… eventually figuring out how to stop going in circles and actually propel us forward. As I pulled one side of the oar out to row on the other side, huge drops of water would fall on my lap, thereby soaking my jeans. I thought to myself “ugh… I’m getting all wet.” Then I remembered I had voluntarily put myself on a boat ON THE WATER… duh… getting wet should have been something I was expecting. I smiled at my own silliness.
The boys did great. Chase enjoyed paddling, although anytime he was paddling I was struggling to counteract the circling motion Lucas was completely silent and still the entire time… I think he was just in awe of actually being on a boat.
Once we were done with the canoe we walked by the tightrope over the river again. Now Chase had attempted this before but with my friend and her daughter while I stayed back with the littles. He got a few steps out and came back… it was too scary.
He wanted to try again so this time I went with him. I stepped out first and walked backwards coaxing his steps. He cautiously stepped forward, little by little… occasionally telling me that I was too far ahead of him and to wait. The whole time he was telling me he didn’t think he could do it… until I pointed out that he was already half way across.
He was scared… the entire way across, with every step, he was fearful. I heard it in his voice and I saw it in his face. But I also watched him take action and not let that fear stop him. It was amazing. I am tearing up thinking about how proud I was that he was standing up to a fear. I kept telling him fear is inevitable, still doing what scares us… that’s being brave.
Victorious! Love this kid.
And this is the moment I will remember tomorrow and for the rest of my life.