I have wanted to share a little something I experienced a few months ago with my son Brock. I have not shared this with anyone yet because when I think about telling it I get all teary eyed and I don’t like crying in front of other people, mostly because I have a really bad cry face.
Anyway, a few months ago I was volunteering in my son’s preschool class and although the thought of spending 3 hours with eleven 3 year olds was stressful to me it turned out to be an amazing day.
I spent the day watching my son play with his friends, share, not share, enjoy his snack, make a fun craft, participate at circle time. . all very typical for a 3 year old. At the end of the day his class goes to the playground. On the playground all the kids were bouncing around from the swings, to the slides, to the sand box, etc. Brock was right there with them showing me everything and playing along.
At one point many of the kids decided to play on this climbing thing in the middle of the playground. The only way I can describe this apparatus is that it looks like a dragon made of metal pipes. The arch is about 4 feet off the ground. It reminds me of the unsafe playground stuff I played on when I was his age, in 1970 something. Typical kids climb up and over it fairly easily. I have been worried about this thing since Brock started school.
So, some of the kids started climbing over it and most did without any trouble. Brock stood at the bottom watching them, and I just sort of stood by ignoring and hoping he would move on to something else. But then he went to the ladder and started to climb. I, of course, went right over to help. He promptly told me he did not need help. So I tried to respect this, but stayed right behind him at arms reach.
He climbed the first several rungs of the dragon ok (actually better than I thought he could), but when he reached the top of the arch he stopped. He looked at me and I saw something I really have never seen with Brock before . . . real fear. He looked so afraid. So I came up beside him and asked him if he would like some help. He nodded yes. Then I asked if he would like me to help him climb back down or keep going over. He took a second or two to think then looked at me and said . . . “keep going.”
So I helped and he did go over and climb down the other side safely. I was so proud! Not really because Brock has the ability to climb and play like his friends but because for the first time I witnessed that he was faced with something he really feared and chose to keep going forward.
There I was in the middle of the playground all teary eyed with all the other children and teachers totally oblivious to my little profound moment. And Brock was off to the next thing totally oblivious too.
Ever since that day, when I get totally stressed out with work, the economy, laundry, hectic schedules, whatever, I just whisper to myself “keep going” and it usually helps. I guess it is my new mantra.
Like I said I know many of you have had these moments already or will soon. They are great moments I will cherish always.
----- Kellie (aka Brock's Mommy)