Have you ever had one of those parenting moments that just made you think to yourself “I did it!” “I am rocking this parenting shit right now”? These moments happen every now and again and sadly feel too far in between.
My most recent proud parenting moment happened at the dreaded school friend birthday party. This particular party was a skate party, and I don’t know about you, but I find these parties to be so flipping awkward. My son (Chase) isn’t yet to an age where he can be left at the party while I go out and run errands…I’m not sure what that age is, but I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere between 21 and 30. Parents never quite know what to do at these parties so they typically spend 2 hours making awkward conversation or playing on their phones. I opted to bring work which was an optimistic prospect on my part.
Chase was so excited for the party, but I don’t think he fully grasped what it meant to go to a skate party…you know…that it would involve skating. As we got though the main door, Chase instantly realized what he had signed up for and wasnt having it…not one bit of it. I practically had to carry him through the door. He was begging to just drop off the present and leave…and sadly very close to tears. Honestly, I just wanted to run out the door too. I could feel his pain, but we were there and we weren’t turning back without giving it a try.
Somehow, without getting frustrated, without pleading, and using my best skills of parental persuasion possible, I was able to help him overcome his fears and get him to try on the skates. From here, it progressed to “skating” around the carpeted area with a walker which then transitioned to using the walker in the skate rink. By the end of the party he was skating without a walker and having so much fun. We did it! I was so proud.
I knew what he was feeling in that moment. He wanted to have fun. He wanted to give skating a try, but that voice inside of his head was telling him that he couldn’t do it. That terrible voice that keeps us from trying new things or taking chances. This voice made him fearful of the unknown. He didn’t know if he would fall down, he didn’t know if someone would laugh, he didn’t know if he could do it….but guess what? He turned that fear into courage and he laced-up those skates and he tried. He took a chance on the unknown for the sake of fun….for the sake of enjoying himself and doing something that he wanted to do. He believed in himself because you know what is scarier than fear….regret. Sure it might be uncomfortable trying new things, but we need to be willing to be uncomfortable to live and feel fulfilled.
I think we can all learn a lesson from our skating adventure, that sometimes you just need to lace-up those skates, grab the walker and give it a go. Falling down is just a part of the process, and if you fall, you get back up and you try again because its fun AND because you can.