Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lessons from My 10 year old

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt

My ten year-old daughter, Lily,
is going to an amusement park tomorrow with some of her friends from school. When she first accepted the invitation, I was thrilled for her, assuming, of course, that she would be filled with excitement to spend a day whirling around the skies of Western PA on a bevy of different rides, accompanied by her shrieking buds. In the days to follow, however, she confessed to a horrible bout of anxiety over her fear of roller coasters and the like. Wanting to save her from such agony, which I know all too well myself, I quickly launched into a soliloquy of cliches and soothing words, assuring her that she could either wait on the side-lines with a parent- if the other girls hopped on something she was afraid of or she could simply back-out of going at all. Pondering these choices, she left the room, exclaiming that she would get back to me with her decision. Sometime the next night she went to her father and quietly asked if he would take her to the amusement park, just the two of them, so she could somehow garner the courage beforehand, to get on the rides which frightened her the most. A little while later she said to me "Mommy, I don't want to be afraid of those things anymore- I want to go and do this so I can have fun."

So right now, on this chilly Pittsburgh eve, in her most amazing style of courage and gumption, my daughter is braving the amusement park, alone with her Daddy, facing her fears head-on, so tomorrow, amidst the laughter and silliness of her girlfriends, she can soar through the air with a smile.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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