I had the most amazing talk with Emma tonight. It kind of came out of nowhere, as most all amazing talks seem to happen. We were laying in her bed together watching a movie about gymnastics. Emma loves gymnastics...she's been taking lessons since she was 2 years old.
She started to explain to me how she is upset with herself because she has been trying to learn how to do front walkovers and just can't quite seem to get it. As the tears started to fall, she said that its hard for her because she is afraid of falling and hurting herself. I could see the frustration in her eyes and my heart ached for her. It's difficult to see your kid feeling defeated...feeling like they aren't good enough.
I hugged her and wiped away the tears and explained to her that she shouldn't let her fears stop her from doing anything. I told her that she needs to keep practicing...keep trying...taking all of the fears she feels and turning them into motivation to make it happen. I told her that when she feels scared to try something, to take a minute and think about all of the things she has done in her life so far...all of the needles she has endured...all of the pain...all of the highs and lows...all of the fears that diabetes has brought her way......and remember what she has accomplished in spite of it all. I reminded her of the fundraisers she has come up with...the people she has gotten the opportunity to meet because of diabetes. I told her that she can't give in to these fears...she can't let them dictate what she does in her life...because if she does, her life won't be as much fun. We can't live our lives being afraid. We cant give up that power and that control to something like fear. We can't reach our goals with that added weight of fear upon our shoulders. We need to take a deep breath...grab ahold of that fear...and run with it. We need to turn it into the very thing which keeps us going.
I am incredibly greatful that I was able to use two very special people we have met as examples of people who have stared fear in the eye and reached for the stars anyway. Ironically enough, they are both type 1 diabetic. Funny how that works, isn't it? Two of the most fear defying people I know...just so happen to have type 1 diabetes too.
I saw the fear wash away from her eyes as I explained their stories to her. I saw the comfort take over. I saw the inspiring motivation settle behind her tear filled eyes. I saw it. I saw the feeling of recognition and sameness and bravery take over where the fear had just been moments before. I saw it with my own two eyes.
I told her that I believe in her. I believe in her even when she doesn't believe in herself. I will help her practice. I will stand by her side. I will be there...no matter what. I told her that she can do it. I told her that I know she will do it. She is stronger than she sometimes believes...braver than she even realizes...more capable than she knows of doing whatever her heart desires.
The conversation ended as always with a hug and a plan of action for helping her reach her goal....this time in the form of a post it note on the table to remind us to practice every day after school.
I walked downstairs and happened to glance out the window. I saw the most breathtaking sky. Purples and pinks and yellows...the sun was setting on this day....and it looked as if the sky was on fire. It was gorgeous. I stood there for a minute and smiled....realizing that I am incredibly lucky. I am surrounded by beauty....the world around me...and the world within my heart. Today was a good day.