A couple of weeks ago my family and I took little day trip. We went to the St. Lawrence River, and visited one of the more than 1000 islands that it…has. No, no…that it holds within its banks. Yeah that sounds way cooler. Anyway…
After exploring Heart Island and the Boldt Castle, which I highly recommend if you are ever in this neck of the woods, we drove to Canada to find a place to eat dinner. We stopped in this little Canadian town called Gananoque, and ate at this quirky restaurant called “The Socialist Pig: Food for Everyone”. The food was awesome and the staff were super nice; I also highly recommend this place as well. First off, this fulfilled one of my ten hopes for the year, I believe it was number five or six, “to have been to Canada”. Check! And it added another country to my list of countries that I had gone grocery shopping in, they include; USA, Germany, Italy, Denmark, France, England, and now Canada. Neat huh?
On the way back home, we drove past a small wooden sign on the side of the road, pretty much in the middle of nowhere that read; “Courage darling, change the world.” It was one of those, did I just see what I thought I saw?, moments. Man that sign hit me right in the fears, but I also felt that it was something that I was meant to see. It also made me wonder, who the heck put up that sign??
Courage can be a tricky thing to grab hold of because it is one of the weapons that we use against the foe known as fear. My daughter, who is nine, has been struggling with finding her courage this week. She signed up for this just for fun talent show that her school is hosting, with the belief that her friend was going to dance to a song with her. Unfortunately, her friend either backed out, forgot, or was told she couldn’t do it. Now as the first practice approaches, she wants to quit. Her reasons being that she signed up believing that her friend would do it with her, she doesn’t want to be on stage by herself, there are too many songs to choose from, everyone will laugh at “the weirdo on stage” (her exact words), and practice is a waste of time. Now she has dance experience, and has performed in six recitals, and one talent show at her other school; so lack of talent is not the issue here. Its fear.
Last night my husband and I talked to her to encourage her, not wanting her to give up just because things did not go as planned. We told her that we know that if she did go ahead with it, that she would be great; because she always is when she takes a chance on herself. We saw the conflict on her face, not wanting to fail but also not wanting to miss out. We told her that we would stand behind whatever decision she made, but made sure that she knew that we believe that she can do this solo dance and do it well. There is one practice today and one on Thursday, she only has to go to one, so I guess we’ll see what happens; at the moment she is still undecided.
Seeing yourself in your kids can be great, but it can also be not great. I found myself being frustrated with me for having all those dumb traits that my kids are now stuck with as well. And wanting nothing more than for my kids to be better, to be stronger, to be more brave, and to have less fear than I did as kid; or even now. The kids are both too young to fully understand regret, which is something I know all too well, I guess its just one of those things that one has to experience for themselves. They are also too young to fully appreciate the non-tangible rewards that come with working hard or taking chance; they recognize them, the appreciation just is not there yet.
The road to change, or success, or dreams being fulfilled, begins with one step. It can be difficult to see the journey, until the reached destination gives you the benefit of hindsight. Every step is important and each chance taken builds up courage, determination, and bravery; which are all things used to battle against fear. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes.
“Courage darling, change the world.”
Until next time,