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.

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