Friday, January 29, 2016

On Taking Risks

Last summer, Chris bought Cole a pair of rollerblades.  Not quite my favorite idea, but Cole was SO thrilled, I just couldn't dampen his spirits.
Every once in a while, he'll pull them out and stumble around, falling every other step.  It's almost painful to watch - even with all his protective gear of helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, I have visions of rushing him to the hospital with broken bones and sprained ankles.
But it's SO SO important for him.  Part of Cole's perfectionist little personality is his aversion to risk-taking.  He doesn't like to try anything unless he can do it right, perfectly, the first time.  Now, as a mama, I'm often pretty happy that he's not a fan of risks.  Wheelies on his bike? No worries.  Climbing the bookcase? Never had to worry about it.  Jumping off the roof?  The thought never crossed his cautious little mind.
However, there's a certain amount of risk that's necessary for life, for success in life.  More and more during our schooling, I'm realizing that his hesitancy with risk-taking impacts his ability to be successful.  When answering questions about something he definitely knows, he replies, "I don't know," even if he does, just in case he gets it wrong.  He asks questions about things he knows the answers to.  He is loathe to try any new experience.
But the roller blades?  It's a risk, physically and mentally.  It's not something you just "know" how to do - it takes practice and skill and persistence.  
It's so hard to watch my sweet boy fall down again and again.  But it's ten times more rewarding watching him get back up again, and try again.  To hear him call, "Look Mom! Look at me!".  To watch his tiny increments of skill learned, day by day.  I hope it's helping him learn the lesson of how it's ok to not get everything right the first time, to try and fail and then try again.  To take risks.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Power of Mama

I am consistently amazed at the power of being a mama.  As a new mom, that was one of my biggest surprises - how simply my presence or my touch was enough to help infant Cole stop crying and be calm.

Still, after five and half years of mothering, I am taken aback occasionally at the strong bond between mama and child.  At how much Cole still needs me - even on my grumpy days - and how much he wants to do nothing but spend time with me.  As I woke up this morning and came downstairs at 5:15 to have some alone time, how Cole was upset because he'd rather be down with me doing laundry and emptying the dishwasher than warm and snug, reading in bed.  And how if Chase is sad or upset about something, how simply my hugs or loving touch can immediately soothe him. 

I know it won't always be this way.  Someday soon my hugs and kisses will be brushed off for fear of being embarrassed.  Someday there will be hurts and heartbreak that my presence won't heal.  Someday my boys might want nothing to do with me.  So I'm soaking up my powerful presence in their lives while I can, even though it means I can't pee in privacy or have forty five minutes in the morning to get a load of laundry done in quiet.  It's ok, because this season won't last forever - and I'm building a foundation for our relationships on love, attention, and hugs; and a strong foundation can last a lifetime.

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