My five-year old daughter has been dreaming of doing cartwheels for months now, which probably seems like an eternity for a small person. Much to my dismay, she has been practicing her jumping, bending, climbing, and tumbling any chance she gets.
The look on her face is priceless though; at the end of some acrobatic move, she smiles proudly with both arms stretched high and legs straight together. She’ll stay in that position till we clap and cheer.
I worry about her budding interest in gymnastics. Although her third heart surgery last fall improved her exercise tolerance, it’s still an ongoing issue. She tires easily and plops into a fetal position after running around a lot. It’s frightful. So I’ve been convincing her that maybe she’d prefer some other extracurricular activity, like art, music, cooking, or something other than strenuous physical exercise. She nods no. It has to be gymnastics. Positive side to this: she’ll learn how to cartwheel safely and build stamina.
Raising her I realize how much I need God’s peace every moment. If I went through this life without God helping me, I would be a wreck. I can’t control circumstances and I can’t forbid her from trying new things: how will she know if she doesn’t try? Instead, I need to offer support, encouragement, and reasonable boundaries so that she can discover her potential. The one thing I want to avoid is transferring my own fears to her.
At her first class yesterday, I was all nerves and had that constipated look from worrying so much, especially when I saw her sweating and running out of breath. I almost asked the coach to end the lesson early. But we stayed till the end.
Ellis must’ve picked up on my concerns; she reassured me that she was feeling okay and just needed a little nap on the ride home. Then I panicked that she needed a nap and kept checking her face through the rear view mirror.
Gulp…a hovering parent?!