9.16.2008

Tumbling

Emily decided that she would like to try gymnastics. I fretted and fussed over it because I didn't want her doing anything that could get her hurt but I finally relented when I reminded myself that this was a basic tumbling class. A cartwheel here, a somersault there... what could be the problem?

Well, there were problems. Emily started the class already missing three days so she felt like she didn't know a n y b o d y and she would n e v e r make friends. Then her hair fell out of the pony tail I put in for her and it was flying everywhere... and sticking to her face when the tears started to fall because she couldn't do a proper cartwheel. Through a window I watched her as she tried again and again, getting more frustrated and upset at each attempt. The tears fell but she kept trying. My heart broke for her.

She had been so excited about this class and here she was just miserable. Throughout her misery I debated scooping up my daughter and taking her home. I realized just then that no matter the hurt or the injustice I will feel it for my child ten times worse than she'll ever feel it. When her heart breaks mine will shatter for her.

I walked into the gym and motioned her over. "Turn around," I told her as I quickly pulled her hair back up. Pony tail in place, I leaned in and whispered into her ear, "Don't try to be perfect, just have fun." I squeezed her shoulder and sent her back into the fray, wondering if I was doing the right thing by her.

Thankfully when we left her mood had completed shifted. (Ah...the power of an eight year old.) The experience was, in her words, "awesome!" We'll just need to work on that cartwheel together.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

ur little pony is "ride" the life!go Emily go!

have a good day!

what a lovely mum u are!

www.moonstage.spaces.life.com

LceeL said...

Ah yes. You DO feel it more than they - but you did the absolute perfect thing - told her just the right thing. Have fun!

Shoozles said...

AHHHH- Good mom! words to live by "don't try to be perfect just have fun" That's a keeper!

t i m said...

Today was the belated sports day @ our school & the youngest kids are 11, but sadly they didn't have such encouraging words to tell them to have fun first & foremost - apart from some shouting from the PE teachers.

Care to be a substitute next year? :)

abritdifferent said...

You suck. You made me cry. I'm never coming back here. Until you post again.

P.S. I LUUUUUUV The Twits! I have a copy.

Bird said...

Oh, gawd. I loved gymnastics because i was never a perfectionist. Perfectionists belong in ballet.

Malathionman said...

Now that you do video, I want to see cartwheels. "Don't wear a skirt", that's my only advice.

Sidewalks said...

It's good that you didn't scoop her up and take her home...that may have been more traumatic for her in the long run. Just having fun is the key...I wish someone had told me that!

White Hot Magik said...

Excellent post! Excellent advice.

Beth said...

Excellent advice, Elizabeth, from a great mom to her daughter, and also for others.