Sorry. I’m sick tonight so this will be short. But I didn’t write last week with the holiday, and it’s a rare stretch when I’ve missed two posts in a row!
We managed to make a quick visit to our two kids in Calgary, and because they were off on reading week, we got to spend a few days together. Of course, that always comes with a price. My son is now madly finishing a 10 page essay that is due at midnight. As kid #2 has just realized, “Why are they giving big assignments over reading break? Isn’t it supposed to be a break??”
So I’m not feeling too bad about a short, late blog post.
I do feel a bit bad that we take up some of that valuable homework time, but since I haven’t seen them since Christmas, I’ll allow myself to be a bit selfish lol.
We did one day of skiing and snowboarding at Lake Louise. The kids left me for a bit when they were headed for more adventurous runs, but came back and insisted I go with them. “Mom, you can do these!” And I did. I’m not usually one to shirk away from a challenge, but from the bottom of a mountain, it can look pretty damn scary.
Okay, from the top of the mountain, it can look pretty damn scary too!
We also took in a Calgary Flames hockey game as they played the Bruins. It was a great game even if they didn’t win.
But as we were watching, my son points out where he was sitting for the last game. Nice seats. Center. Close.
Kid 2: “Last game I was sitting down there. MRU was selling single tickets for cheap.”
Me: “That’s okay. You’re a big boy. You won’t care if you’re by yourself.”
Kid 2: “No, but remember when you sent me to the Rush final playoff game by myself?”
Kid 1: “Yah, and remember when you sent me to Justin Bieber by myself? I think I was 12.”
Kid 2: “Remember when…”
Uh oh. I could feel a pile-on coming. A list of times where I was a really crappy parent and threw my children to the figurative wolves of life! Next, they’ll be reminiscing how I left the little one at daycare and had headed for home before I remembered. Or when we ALMOST lost the older one at Disneyworld and only realized we didn’t have her when we had an extra ticket and one less child.
But it wasn’t like that at all. The conversation was actually about meeting other people at those events. Talking to them. Being sociable. Having fun.
An article passed my social media feed this week. I’ve seen it before, but it’s a good reminder. It was called, “How and Why We Should Let Our Kids Fail” by Jennifer Gonzalez. (If you don’t follow @cultofpedagogy you really need to!)
“If we make life too easy for our kids, if we rescue them from every fail, they will never learn the important lessons that will carry them through life. And this is most effective when the stakes are relatively low.”
Okay, okay. You could argue that throwing a 12 year old into her first concert (The Wiggles didn’t count) isn’t exactly low stakes. But I also know my kid.
Plus, she really wanted to go but only decided that waaaay after tickets had gone on sale, and a single seat bought off Kijiji at the last minute meant that she was highly motivated to be brave too.
Sometimes I don’t push kids as hard as they might need to be pushed. Personally, I much prefer a gentle nudge and a whole lot of encouragement. But the sentiment is true. Just watching grade 7s trying yoga before the break is a great example.
We had already had a big talk about vulnerability and courage. How you need to try new things no matter how old you are. How we aren’t going to be great at something the first time we try it.
You get the picture.
Even with all of that, quite a few were pretty resistant participators.
One flat out refused.
And once the stretching and positions got a bit more challenging, at least 1/3 had packed it in.
Our yoga instructor was amazing. She talked them all the way through it and was very encouraging. She gave them great feedback and got most of them back on track, or at least giving it a bit more effort.
One thing she said to them stuck with me: “If this isn’t a stretch you do often, it’s going to feel uncomfortable. You need to lean into it. Don’t be afraid of feeling it.”
It sounds like advice I would hear frequently from a friend: sometimes you have to lean into the suck.
Life isn’t easy. Life isn’t comfortable. Life is full of sucky things that are going to happen.
Sometimes you will be on your own, and that is good for us too.
As Kristin Armstrong says, “I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don't want to shrink back just because something isn't easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can't and I can.”
Hope everyone has a great cold-and-virus-free week. Because it’s sucky too.
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