How learning to trust my child allowed me to begin to trust myself.
I knew my answer to his question was a pivotal moment to our relationship. I wanted to be honest with him. I didn't want to try to deceive him with a false sense of my security. It was more than MY trust that was needed. I wanted him to value trusting himself. Listening to his own inner knowing would carry him over the eight feet stretch of rushing water, not whether I said he could do it or not. On the other hand, how could I admit to not trusting him...when it really wasn't about him at all? How could I admit to not fully trusting myself? Too many "Be careful's" and "Don't do that!" and "Don't go too far/Climb too high/Run too fast's" in my formative years had tamed my inner child long ago. Although lately, by focusing on setting my children (as well as my inner child) free, the need to listen to my instincts and shake off the fear has been growing stronger.
With earnest eyes on me, I finally replied, "Do you trust you?" "Yep!" he said with a big smile. "Well, good. That is what is most important!" I responded. With that, he began scooting his way across and down the slope of the fallen tree, beaming with pride as he stood up on the other side of the creek. "I did it! I did it!", he cheered. "I knew I could and I did!"
And then it was my turn. I had planned to go a safer route...an easier route, but at that moment...in that wild space...I knew what needed to be done. I swallowed my fear, swung a leg over that big old log, and began scooting across as my children squealed in delight and chanted, "Go Mommy, Go! Go Mommy, Go!" I reached the other side and stood up with pride. I did it! I did it! I didn't think I could at first, but I did! And I was set free...
Amber Sparks is a family and children's yoga teacher, home-based child care provider, writer, and Mama to two homeschooling boys ages four and six. She believes children are her greatest teachers and blogs about her mothering journey, mindfulness, and creative endeavors at www.heartwanderings.blogspot.com.