Today I went hiking with my kids after school with Miss L. At one point we came to a metal pipe that was raised about three feet over the water.
“Stand next to me in case I fall,” Pid advised. “But don’t get too close!” she said, before starting the first foot of a four foot trek across the rusty tube.
For the first few steps she was fine. She struggled a bit, but she didn’t come close to falling. Each time she righted herself back to a strong, balanced position.
It was only when her little body was aligned with mine that she started to really waver. She flopped once to the right and then instinctively fell toward the left where my arm steadied her. Her hand hovered over mine for the rest of her short walk across.
This was such an analogy for life. How often do we stoically face life alone, but when someone warm and comforting is near, we allow ourselves the vulnerability to fall?
While there is nothing wrong with allowing others to bolster us, it makes me think of a parenting struggle I often have. Like that walk my daughter took, I want my kids to know I’m around for them. I want to be their safe landing. But I’m of the ilk that parenting means raising our kids to be independent. If I walk too close to them all the time, they won’t have the chance to learn from their falls. Or even more to the point, they won’t have the chance to right themselves before the plunge happens. They won’t have the opportunity to know what they are truly capable on their own.
A discussion about this very thing is happening in the comment section of a previous blog. Take a look and join the thread if you’d like.
In closing, I’ll leave you with a quote from Lisa. She is a woman in her thirties that has T.S.. She has gone on to be quite successful. I’ll post some pieces of a q and a I had with her tomorrow. Just some of her wisdom comes right here:
“It’s the kids who have everything handed to them and are sheltered from failures that have the hardest time as an adult…It’s about loving and supporting your kid and giving them confidence and the ability to be comfortable in their own skin. There is no such thing as perfection so why do we all work so hard trying to achieve something that doesn’t exist? In the words of my biochem professor….’Don’t go hunting zebras in Scott County (Iowa)….chances are it’s horses…’”
And with that, I’m going to saddle up for the night. Until tomorrow, I’m thinking and praying for you all. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these subjects, so feel free to comment!