A couple weeks ago, I took both kids to an evening skating party organized by my daughter’s Sparks unit (For our American readers, think Girl Guides for the younger set).
The Button is a pretty good skater. He’s been taking lessons this year and can do all kinds of things I can’t do. Murmel, on the other hand, only skates with her school for the few weeks they skate for gym class, and then, with the aid of a chair to keep her upright. Which is what she kept talking about, all the way to the party “Mom, just wait until you see how fast I can go with a chair!” To which I replied quite a few times that I doubted there would be a chair for her, but that I’d be there to help her.
When we arrived, my suspicions were confirmed. There was no form of skating for newbies aid available. I got them both into their skates and helmets, tied my own skates on, and off we went. The Button almost immediately disappeared onto the winding skating path that branched off from the rink, and Murmel? Murmel gave me the core workout of my life, clinging to my hand tightly with both of her own hands, and leaning forward to stare at her feet as she shuffled along. More than a few times, we almost both bailed when she’d suddenly start to keel forward.
Finally, my abs aching, my arms screaming in protest, I looked down at her and said “Fall down.”
Ever had a five year old look at you like you’re crazy? Like totally batshit insane? That’s the look I got.
She protested, her tiny hands gripping me even more tightly, her big brown eyes wider than they’ve ever been. And then very, very slowly, she let herself fall to the ice. It was less of a fall and more of a slow motion version of the splits, but it still served it’s purpose. She felt what the ice would feel like to land on. She realized her snowpants and coat are pretty good padding. And she looked up and saw that I was still there, ready to help her back up.
Once she got back up, her brother was back from his loop around the path, and she asked to hold both our hands. Then? She dragged us along behind her as she skated as fast as she could. And at the end of the night, she let go of my hand, too, and skated around on the ‘dance floor’ area of the rink where lights from the stage were illuminating the ice. I think her smile might have rivaled mine for face breaking proportions. Maybe.
There is something to be said for getting the fall out of the way early. When we’re clinging too tightly to the fear of failure, we take no risks, and that lack of risk taking means we won’t get the chance to fly or fall. Usually, failing isn’t even all that bad – we’ve conflated it into a big bad monster when it might just be a dust bunny. Try it. Let go and fall. In getting back up, you’ll discover you’re ready to really fly.
I’m a communicator. That’s a PC way of saying I like to talk, but I also spend a lot of my time listening, and over the years, I’ve developed a sense for subtext – how one or two words can change your entire message, what people are really trying to say and how to weave the varied layers of your story into one cohesive brand message that your clients fall in love with.
When I'm not acting as editor in chief for Vivid & Brave, you can find me geeking out over words here.
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