On Being Brave

brave My oldest daughter Lily reminds me of me in so many ways. I think this is why we can butt heads at times. Yes, this is happening when she is 6. But that is OK because God and I made a deal when he gave me girls that he would send Jesus back before they are teenagers. It is part of that whole “not giving us more than we can handle thing”. Cause although I don’t believe in karma, I think I have some stuff coming to me in the teenage years that my parents will enjoy watching me go through. Seriously.

Anywho, one of the ways that we are alike is that we don’t like to try things that we sense we might not be good at. Also, if we do end up trying something new and don’t experience any success, we will most likely quit immediately and vow never to attempt such a thing again. As a person, I have always found this to be a smart strategy. I mean why waste time doing something that you aren’t going to be awesome at? But as a parent, I find myself frustrated that she is so quick to give up on things and not push herself a little bit. Interesting how my perspective has changed.

One of the areas that our giftedness most certainly doesn’t lie is in athletics (although truth be told, she must have a little of my hubby’s genes cause she is showing some promise in tennis). My heart breaks a little when she tells me of hating gyms class, of being the slowest, of being the only kid in class who can’t do a chin up. Now Lily is very young for her grade so that is a small part of it. But truth be told I am not sure it would matter. She comes by her lack of affection for all things P.E. quite naturally.

While we were on vacation last week, the place we were staying had a climbing wall. Lily said she wanted to try it. So after 5 minutes of getting strapped in the gear in the blazing heat, she is ready to go. And tackle this:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

I apologize for the crappy picture, but it was taken with my phone. Well, and I take really crappy pictures.

Needless to say, she climbed a few rungs and called it quits. I tried to talk her out of quitting but began to ride the fine-line between encouragement and….well, whatever is right over the line from encouragement. So I let it go. Until a few days later when we encountered another climbing wall and she wanted to try again. But this one cost money. So I told her I would pay for her to do it but only if she made it all the way to the top. She was not allowed to quit. She agreed and I forked over my $5 (serious highway robbery).

Again, she made it up a few rungs and said she wanted to come down. I told her she wasn’t allowed and began to cheer her on like nobody’s business. I was like the stage mom of the climbing wall. I was yelling where to put her foot, telling her she could do it, screaming and cheering and jumping up and down like a mad woman. And you know what? She scaled that thing and rang the bell. Her face exploded into the biggest smile, she repelled down and immediately asked to do it again.

We didn’t do that again, but she was up for tackling a ropes course at a different location. I actually suggested it ’cause it looked fun and it was fun right up until the moment I actually got on the course. Then I realized that clearly only insane people do things like this. But Lily looked at me, looked at the course and said, “I can do it, it is just like the climbing wall.” And she fearlessly tackled ropes strung ridiculously high off the ground with nothing to hold onto but her tether. I was beaming with pride (when I wasn’t “beaming” with absolute terror). But nothing matched her face, so proud that she had tried something so brave and succeeded.

I can’t wait to see what she conquers next. My guess? The world.


  1. Kelly C says:

    Best post you’ve ever written. Love it!!!!!

  2. Love it!! That’s definitely a keeper to show her one day! Thanks for sharing:)
    mandi@itscome2this recently posted…Saturday stumblesMy Profile

  3. Love. Love. Love. Amazing post!! I’ve felt kinda the same way the last few days. That I had to be brave and my community was cheering me on. :)
    myra recently posted…See Here- 25 FREE Photo Cards Hurry-My Profile

  4. oh amanda says:

    Beautiful, Jill! I’ve got tears in my eyes!
    oh amanda recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday- Messes I Don’t Wanna Clean UpMy Profile

  5. Renee says:

    nicely written Jill!

  6. Absolutely amazing! It’s amazing what we (or our loved ones) do when we have someone cheering for us like crazy. :)
    Julie recently posted…WeddingWeek- When I Knew He Wanted to Marry Me…My Profile

  7. That is so awesome Jill..and standing there and encouraging her was the best thing you could have done for her- go mama!
    Melissa Multitaskingmama recently posted…Holy Housewives- Week ThreeMy Profile

  8. Oh, I’m so proud of both of you!!! This is a great post Jill. You did a great job of documenting that moment in time, it will be fun to look back and see what doors this has opened for both of you.
    Jen @ BigBinder recently posted…Hangin’ in the HillsMy Profile

  9. This is a great post. I know exactly what you mean about being the youngest in class, my daughter is the same way. Some of the girls are 2 years older in her class but they still compete physically as if they were equals. I wish they would let them line up for races according to age and not grade. Because it’s terrible on “awards day” when some girl gets all the track ribbons and she gets an honor roll certificate. Better in the long run but try to explain that to a 6 year old.
    Well great post :)

    • this happened to us on field day. She was getting so discouraged. But since I was keeping track of the top 3 for every event, I created a 4th place for the one event she did well in and just showed her the paper. She could not stop talking about coming in 4th place to everyone she told about the day ;)

      • Yeah, I wound up buying some ribbons at the Dollar Store for “trying hard” and “most original pose” for the standing long jump. She was happy. But some day, some day physically she will catch up to the older girls in her class. Then look out :)

  10. My 7yo is my clone… and it frightens me on many levels.

    Proud of you both for tackling the hard stuff!

  11. Shoot. I, too, quit things if I’m not good at them right away. And now your post is all sorts of challenging to me. Shoot.
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted…Pizza Crust from ScratchMy Profile

  12. I am a lot like that. I quit almost everything. Love this. :)

  13. You described my mother/daughter relationship with my daughter just perfectly. And this, this gives me hope :-)

    Thank you.
    Malia recently posted…Like a Kid in a Kandi Store – One eskimO reviewMy Profile

  14. Alicia's Homemaking says:

    Loved this, Jill. :D
    Alicia’s Homemaking recently posted…Zucchini ParmesanMy Profile

  15. My 2 yo is my clone (which really is scary!) and I’m learning to walk that fine balance of encouragement and you know, that other thing. Glad you were able to go over the top for Lily. She really will remember it as one of the best moments in her life.

  16. Go Jill!! I have the same issue with my oldest. She will only go so far, and doesn’t want to push herself. I love how you nudged (shoved?) her forward, but then supported her the whole way. Now she knows that you’ll be there in the tough things.
    Real Life Sarah recently posted…10 Things I Did at Biltmore Estate- part 1My Profile

  17. Such a perfect post, Jill! Love it! You and I are even more alike than I realized! Lol Both as individuals, and as mothers who are praying for the Lord’s swift return before we hit the teen years!! Lol :) Yay for Lily! And I’m sharing her story with my 6yo girl who tends to avoid defeat at all costs! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Nice post. We’re struggling with the ripstick right now in that she wants it to be as easy as it looks.
    Melizzard recently posted…We-rsquore Back-hellipMy Profile

  19. Rachel ~ Southern Fairytale says:

    I’ve met her, she’s totally going to conquer the world ;-)

    I love this post on so many levels

  20. Just here saying hi from Gypsy Mama’s place!

    Mary, mom to 10
    owlhaven recently posted…Linky Love- How-To EditionMy Profile

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge