It was my 36th birthday on Friday. I had the best weekend celebrating. Friday my husband surprised me and took off work. He was home for an evening of pizza with the kids, my in-laws (salt of the earth humans) and my long-time friend, who the kids refer to as Grandma. There was cake, candles, and laughs. It was great.
Saturday we had friends over. It was more than 10 people. And it was awesome. It felt normal and amazing, and I so enjoyed spending the day surrounded by loved ones. My kids stayed up way past their bedtime playing with the other kids. It was exactly what I hoped it would be.
Today was also a good day. Festivities winding down, the kids had swim practice. My oldest daughter (age 5) is turning into quite the swimmer. It's so awesome to watch. I think my favorite part is seeing how 'coachable' she is. Her swim instructor has 20+ years of experience coaching young kids. She gives our daughter a 1-2 sentence instruction and then our daughter does it. It blows my mind. It's awesome. And I'm proud already.
We had dinner (yes it was my third cake and 'happy birthday' song of the weekend... don't judge me) at my in-laws tonight. My oldest asked me if we could ride our bikes to their house. They live an exact 1.2 miles away. I said sure. So we road over and my husband met us there with our twin 3 year-olds. She did great. I was impressed. But the entire ride is downhill.
My husband and I had already planned to throw the bikes in the back of the truck and we would hitch a ride home. My daughter wanted nothing to do with that. She pleaded after dinner. 'Mom, can we pleeeeease ride home? It's still light out?" Me: "Oh honey, it's just going to be really hard. It's all uphill. Remember how we saw some other little girls walking their bikes up on our way over? I just don't want you to get frustrated..." Daughter: "I won't. I swear. I promise. Mom pleeeeease. WE CAN DO IT!"
I did not think she could do it. My husband and in-laws doubted she could do it. But I agreed. Not because I wanted her to fail. But because I wanted her to see that sometimes it's okay to listen to me. (Gulp. Even typing that sentence feels heavy....). I made her promise that if it got hard, no matter what, we could keep going. If there was frustration, we would power through. "I swear Mommy. I won't cry. I'll just keep going. Now let's do this!" So, away we rode.
She CRUSHED it. I mean, CRUSHED it. At one point I yelled "I am so proud of you!" And I couldn't even get the words out without sobbing. She was in front of me, and I just watched it all happen. She did it. She didn't even make it look hard. I encouraged her when we needed to pick up the pedaling. But she did it. She did a really hard thing.
I honestly was not sure she could do it. And isn't that just the way it goes? We tell ourselves this story... about what we can and can't do. We tell ourselves how hard and horrible something is going to be, before we even do it. The part that scares me the most? I almost didn't let her do it. I almost missed out on this amazing opportunity with her because I doubted her capability. And she CRUSHED it.
You can do hard things. And so can my 5 year old.
Strength and healing. ✨🤍