“Go ahead. You can do it!”
“Don’t over-think it, just jump!”
“If you don’t leap, you’ll always wish you had.”
We both peered over the edge into the turquoise waters below. Way below. Way, way below.
My daughter looked at me again. “Are you sure? That’s scary!”
“Just jump. Don’t think too long. Just jump!”
She backed up and ran at the gate. My mouth dropped open and my camera came up – she was going!
She stopped at the last second and teetered on the edge. She looked at me standing right beside her. “That’s a long way down!”
“Yes, it is” I replied, gazing downward with her. “But you can do it.”
She backed up a slight bit and quicker than you can read this, she catapulted off the platform, plummeted down through the air and splashed into the waters beneath.
Her head bobbed to the surface under my watchful gaze. The first thing she did upon surfacing was to look up at me and grin a huge wrap-around smile. She waved jubilantly and swam over to the rocks, grinning the whole way.
I was so proud of her. Her fear of how high the platform was did not stop her. The natural hesitation at the top did not get in her way. She jumped.
A man standing across from me on the platform asked, “Are you next?”
“Are you kidding?” I retorted, “I’ll never jump off something this high!”
He looked a little baffled and I laughed to myself as I walked off the platform. I had just encouraged my girl to jump. Reminded her that she didn’t want to overthink it. Encouraged her that she shouldn’t let fear rule. Supported her desire to do something amazing, in spite of it being overwhelming. I helped her do something I didn’t have the courage to do myself. Something I not only feared, but wouldn’t even consider.
What kind of mother is that?
It’s the same mother that held a frog (I don’t like slimy things) for the first time when my other daughter was tiny – in order that she not grow up with a fear of reptiles like I have. The same mother who waded into the river in spite of the crawdads so that my kids wouldn’t worry about swimming in the wild. The same mother who bit her lip when my kids climbed a cliff and the same mom who let my kids walk to school by themselves, never telling them I walked along where they couldn’t see so that they would develop confidence. The same mom who let them learn to saddle up when horses make me nervous.
Don’t worry, I didn’t push my daughter off the platform. I saw in her eyes that she’d be happy if she did this. I didn’t force horseback riding, or swimming in the river or anything. I simply tried to let my kids not grow up letting fear rule their lives. It’s not that I don’t want them to be careful, I do. I just want them to not let fear rule – I want them to be able to face challenges and jump.
And she did. I walked away from that platform on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, but my daughter jumped, twice. And then she decided, with thought and experience, that she didn’t feel like jumping again. I failed at jumping, but for some reason, I feel like I succeeded.
Sometimes a mom's job isn't to conquer her own fear, sometimes it's to teach your children to not be afraid to jump!… Click To Tweet
Inspire Me Monday Instructions
What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:
1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).
2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.
3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer—just do it!
Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).I'm joining my friends @blestbutstrest and @caregiver mom for an #inspirational link up. Check out the great stories! Click To Tweet
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