Today Gabe climbed past the white line on the rock wall at the YMCA. The white line is only 4 feet off the ground. This may not be a big deal for most kids but he is captain cautious so for him it was a momentous occasion. I was sitting on the bench with Liv eating a snack and watching him try to reach or a ring, reach… reach… reach… it was just out of his grasp. He tried again, still not able to reach. He was getting tired of holding on in that one spot, the mama bear in me wanted to jump the fence and give him a boost but I stayed firmly planted on the bench. The urge to assist him was killing me, I took a deep breathe and repeated quietly to myself “Let it happen Mama, let it happen.” Then something happened! This little boy of my mine grunted and started pulling himself higher. He reached the ring, slipped it over his arm and climbed back down. As soon as he hit the ground he shouted “I did it! I got a ring!” Then I was that Mom (the one running up and down the sideline of the soccer field cheering her kid on) I jumped up and shouted “Way to go bud, you did it.”
This little milestone probably wouldn’t be a big deal for most parents, but for me it’s huge. I have always been such a worrier and vowed to not put my issues on my kids. I am terrified of heights, so when Gabe asked if he could climb last year every ounce of my being wanted to say “no way, let find something safer like… reading or music maybe?” But I said okay anyway. The first few times he never got off the ground, but he enjoyed playing the games with the other kids and watching them climb. Soon enough he started to make his way a little higher every time, but never past the white line. Today he did it, I was so proud of him and also proud of me for just letting it happen. I want to be there to rescue my kids from anything and everything that might harm them. I want to help them. When I step in every time life gets a little tough I deprive them of being able to find a solution on their own and by doing that I take a away a chance for my kids to be proud of themselves.
All that said I still have a hard time letting it happen, most days. I am working on it. I am taking small steps and deep breathes.