You can do it

“No, Honey, you can do it.”

I must say that line to Zoe 50 times a day. I taught Zoe, a few months ago, how to say “please” in sign language so that when she’s in a pickle {or just can’t figure something out} she knows how to ask for my help {rather than scream her head off}. So, now, when she’s trying to do something and it gets a little rough, she’ll look at me and say, “please”. More often than not, she doesn’t need my help…. she just wants it. Other times, she genuinely needs my help, and she gets it… immediately. “Please” in the beginning, was a sign that got instant action from me. I had to teach her that I was there, that she could ask for {and would receive} help from her mommy. Now that she has a ton of motor skills under her belt, we’re in this dance of “when does Mommy step in, and when do I do it myself”. We’re both in the dance. We’re both learning.

For example, we have a set of 4 chairs {no table, just chairs} and I sit in one while I watch her play. Zoe taught herself how to climb into those chairs. It was hard. She needed help often. She practiced and practiced. I helped and helped. For about a week, everyday, I watched {and helped} her struggle with those chairs. And then, one day, I was standing at my kitchen window watching her, and what do you know! She DID IT!!!!!!!s I hooped and hollered with excitement, called Brad over to watch, and Zoe sat {like an adult…it’s the cutest thing ever!} in the big chair with a look of complete satisfaction on her face. Thata girl, Zoebear!

That was 2 months ago. Yesterday, when we were playing in the backyard, Zoe tried to get in a chair. She didn’t get it on the first {second, or third} try, and so she asked for help. I told her, “No, Honey, you can do it.” Because I knew she could. She got this determined look on her face and went at it again. And what do you know? She did it. And we threw a big party, clapping and cheering and lots of “You did it!!!! Great job, Zoebear!!!!!” right there in the backyard. The next thing I knew, she was scooting out of the chair, going to the one right next to it, and climbing up in THAT chair. She wanted another party. So, she got one. Then she was out of THAT chair and back in the original… so, she could have another party. She got that one too.

As I sat there watching Zoe, and throwing parties in her honor, I watched her face. The pride. The accomplishment. The healthy self image. I saw, with such clarity, how sometimes sitting back and encouraging is THE BEST thing that you can do for your child. And I thought about how tricky this line is. Watching your kid struggle, knowing you could fix it in 2 seconds, but knowing you have to respect “The Line”. The line of stepping in and helping, or sitting back and encouraging. The line of knowing, as a mother, what your child needs in every situation, and giving it to them. I wondered if our second kid {whenever that might be} will have the same opportunity as Zoe to develop that self-worth, or will Zoe want to “help” all the time? I made a mental note to pay careful attention to how much “help” Zoe gets to do, and when we’ll both need to sit back and let #2 figure some things out on their own.

Do you know what I saw yesterday, sitting in the backyard? My 16-month old daughter is fully convinced that she can do anything she wants to do. And you know what?

She hasn’t been wrong yet.

And it got me thinking, how many times do we not do something because we don’t think we can? I can think of a ton of different categories in my life where this is true. How many times do we back out because the goal might require a little more work than we wanted to put into it? How many times do we give up, not knowing that if we just moved our grip a little to the left, we’d be up in that chair?

What if we tried again? What if this time, instead of throwing in the towel, we set our face towards our goal… and just did it. With no fear of failure. With no knowledge of our limitations. Just a simple trust that the person who knows everything {for Zoe it was me, for you it could be anybody} said that we could do it… and that was enough to go on.

What’s that thing that you’ve always wanted to do? What’s that goal that you’ve had in the distance but never really shot for? What’s holding you back?

You can do it!

Happy Tuesday Ya’ll!

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3 responses to “You can do it

  1. We’re at the point of trying to figure out that line with our Zoey too. It’s tough sometimes, but, like you said, seeing the proud look in their eyes when they accomplish something on their own makes it worthwhile. Great post.

  2. This spoke VOLUMES to me Rebecca! You are such a great Mom & awesome person! Love ya! 😉

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