Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Road to Mt. Midoriyama

When they're babies, they look up to you. Their eyes follow you across the room. As others hold them you see their face wanting you.  You are their world. It can, at times, inflate the super mom ego a bit, knowing you're their end all, be all. Before long, he bittersweet transition to independence begins. There's the relief of them doing so much more for themselves. The ease of leaving the house (on time?!??), the potential for that quick nap as they watch TV. And,with this,  the ache knowing they need you less and less. And, before you know it, you are admiring this independent young person they're becoming. They've found their own thing. Maybe a musical interest, maybe a sport, maybe academic excellence, maybe even the gift of gab. 
It's in those moments you see things in them that you wish you were, or could be.  Their complete dedication to something.  Their determination to make the impossible happen.  Their willingness to put the work in and see it through.  Their thoughts consuming ways to attain what they want.  And, then improving their abilities as a result of their efforts.
Even when this dedication comes in the form of an unreachable goal (at least anytime in the near future), such as my wonderful 8-year-old boys dream of being the next American Ninja Warrior.  I'm impressed with him!  It makes you swell with pride, even as you're standing in the 30 degree weather timing him across the monkey bars.  You child has grasped they need to work to get what they want.  They've understood that things aren't just given.  They've set a goal that you didn't direct them towards- and are actively trying to achieve it- even when that means driving you nuts to hit the playgound or rock climbing center in the midst of busy life. His race across the monkey bars isn't just for fun and games anymore. He has his eye on a prize, one he picked for himself.
Yes, this is a little thing.  A for-fun dream of his, but one he believes he can do.  On his own. And it's making me believe in him more and more.   He's reading labels choosing things with more "gallons" of protein than others.  He's leaving my walls with more scuffs than my magic erasers can handle. But he has a plan and is doing the work.  And reminding me to do the same.

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