There’s a meme that makes the rounds every so often about working out not just for yourself but because your kids are watching. I love that Liam sees me as an active person. Last Mother’s Day, his class made “All About Mom” books. He wrote that I enjoy yoga. He knows that I run and train. I take classes in the adult side of the gym while he takes ninja classes. Most importantly, he watches me try to become better. He hears me talk about runs or races that didn’t go as planned. Last Monday, I talked at dinner about my failed attempt to PR my deadlift. When I ran seven miles last weekend, he hugged me, “Congratulations. You’ve never run that far. That’s a huge accomplishment.”
We often talk about the “power of yet,” the idea that it’s not a failure, you just haven’t succeeded yet. We remember things that used to be difficult that are easy now: climbing the wall at ninja class, place value, borrowing numbers in subtraction, etc. I’m so thankful that he understands that not everything goes your way the first time around.
This week, my college’s alumni association hosted an event at the Alex and Ani Ice Skating Center downtown. We never go out on weeknights but decided to make a special exception for a special occasion. Our first stop was the bumper boats, a new edition this season. Liam loved them! They were a lot of fun! We were paired up with a nice group and had a lot of laughs as we bumped into each other.
The second part of the evening was spent ice skating. I had only ice skated one other time, but I grew up roller skating and roller blading so I was able to skate around pretty easily. We rented Liam a snowman to help guide him around the ice. Because he had never even roller skated, he didn’t realize the basics. It took a few minutes to get him to realize he needed to push his skates to the side rather than one in front of the other like he as he went. Much like teaching him to ride a bike, there were a lot of steps involved that most people do without thinking.
Liam wanted to give up, but he didn’t want to leave the event. He kept at it, holding on to his snowman, the edge of the rink, and eventually skating on his own. A younger Liam would have cried and given up. This Liam kept with it, listening to feedback, watching me, and trusting that I would not let him get hurt. By the end of the night, he could on his own. He wasn’t fast. He wasn’t smooth, but he could do it. I am so proud of these moments when he is willing to struggle.