Monday, October 29, 2012

Swinging yourself, higher and higher

Lilly has loved being in the swing since she was a baby.  I could push her in her baby swing in the backyard for hours.  Going to the park could be torture because all she wanted was to be pushed in the swing...the entire time.  

For the past year or so I have been trying to teach Lilly to pump her legs so that she could swing herself.  It wasn't working.  Last summer I figured she was just too young and I would just teach her next summer.  Well, this summer came and all summer long I came up with all different ways to teach Lilly to pump her legs.  All summer long she refused to learn.  I knew she was able to at this point, but she just wanted me to push her.  Toward the end of August she was trying to pump her legs, at my insistence, sometimes.  We would compromise.  I would push her for 10 pushes and then she had to try and pump for a few minutes and I would push her again at the end.

I don't know what the trigger was or what connection she made, but one day, she got it.  Right there, in front of my eyes I saw it click and she started pumping her legs.  And when I asked her if she wanted me to push her she said, "No thanks Mom."  Oh, did my heart almost break in half.  After all the times I complained about having to push her, now I was not needed to do so.

We have a swingset in the backyard and there is barely a day when Lilly does not go out, even just for a few minutes, to swing.  She soars higher and higher, it seems, each time.  When I watch her I am filled with pride in what she can do.

Learning how to swing is a metaphor for so many things in life.  How many times have I been afraid to do something.  Nervous, hesitant, not confident.  And then when I do the task, fully, not half-assed, I can really be successful.  I was so afraid to start graduate school.  I was not smart enough.  I did not know what I wanted to study.  What if I failed.  I was given many nudges along the way to get started.  I finally started back in 2006.  I didn't fail.  Not in the least.  I aced graduate school.  I soared.

the blur that is Lilly
Sometimes I have to remember the things I have accomplished so that I can have the confidence to move on in the next chapter in my life.  I am not sure what that entails yet, or when it will start.  But I hope I can remember Lilly pumping her little legs as hard as she can and soaring above the grass and laughing with pure joy.

Singing at the top of her lungs

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